Archive for 'Wellness Programs'

Archive for 'Wellness Programs'

Wellness Programs and Physical Activity With Co-workers.

o Organize a launch event to develop excitement about upcoming activities and to develop a social climate that establishes being active as the norm.

o Organize and promote monthly or bi-monthly corporation events that are fun and active, e.g., picnics with physical games, staff tournaments and dragon boat racing.

Be certain to encourage families to join in by including all-ages events such as relay races, soccer matches, bocce ball and baseball games.

o Begin a swim club at a local pool. Invite groups of workers to swim the distance of a nearby lake. Convert kilometres to lengths and reward workers who complete the swim.

Make certain to set up a challenge between employees and managers to see who covers the greatest distance.

o Post a sign-up board where staff can join a group or find a buddy to take part in activities of interest.

o Arrange a organization badminton tournament that lasts several months, with each employee playing once a week. Post the results as the tournament progresses.

o Organize an office Olympics, World Cup, Wimbledon or Masters Games. Invite teams to compete in a few activities over a month. Reward everyone who participates.

o Create a point system in which one minute of activity is equivalent to one point. Be sure to set a target, and post a chart where all staff members can track their points. Reward the first group to reach that target.

o Co-ordinate a stair climb challenge. Post a chart at the top of the stairwell, and encourage employees to track the number of flights of stairs they climb each workday.

Make sure to set up teams, and award a prize to the first team to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest.

o Post and promote a sign-up board for lunchtime walking groups.

o Organize a walk “across the USA ” Choose a route, find out how many steps it would take to walk that distance and challenge personnel to do it.

Give or loan pedometers to employees, and ask them to record the number of steps they take. Or, when you cannot afford pedometers, track the minutes walked. Make certain to set up a challenge between employees and managers to see who can walk across the United States first.

o Co-ordinate a walk to work club. Acknowledge staff who either walk to work or walk to public transit.

o Have a volunteer group leader guide weekly lunchtime power walks.

o Coordinate a million-step challenge. Form groups, challenge each group to walk a combined total of a million steps and reward the winner. Departments or sites could compete with each other and with management.

o Challenge staff members to walk 10,000 steps a day. Purchase pedometers for all participating staff members or, when you cannot afford that, make pedometers available at a lowered rate.

Provide tips for increasing daily steps, and reward workers who succeed.

August 28th, 2010 by Health Fair, under Corporate Health Wellness, Wellness Programs. No Comments

There’s no single right way to approach health promotion programs but winning health promotion programs share common success factors. These include commitment from management, employee involvement, adequate resources, and a policy on health that goes hand in hand with the corporation’s mission, vision and values.

Wellness Program – A Range of Approaches

Although the goal is to eventually have a long-term, extensive health promotion program, some corporations prefer to begin with a single program at a basic level.

For instance, the first steps can be as simple as offering lunch-hour sessions on first aid or healthy eating; or they might launch a pilot project to find out how interested employees are to ensure employees needs are being met before taking on anything more ambitious.

This approach provides a chance to show the impact on workers and the worksite so upper management will be more willing to consider a larger and more far-reaching strategy.

Other businesses plan a variety of health promotion programs to meet the needs of the different types of people that make up their workforce. And some decide to develop a sound business case, complete with a health strategy, before attempting any type of health promotion program.

Companies want to ensure that a new health promotion program is fully integrated with their overall business vision and mission.

Health Promotion Program – Success Factors

Regardless of whether your organization chooses to think large from the outset or to begin with something smaller, always keep in mindthe following key success factors -

o support and participation from management;

o worker involvement in planning;

o wellness programs that meet employee needs;

o A realistic budget; and

o continuous review.

In sports, a game plan is a series of steps that a team must follow to accomplish its goal of winning. Most winning teams plan to win. Organizations also need game plans, even if they do not call them by that name.

Good planning will help to ensure that your health promotion program happens the way you want it to, and that costs could be identified in advance and kept within budget. Good planning prevents small problems from becoming bigger.

Steps in Creating a Wellness Program

Obtain upper management support. You could need to develop a corporation case to convince managers that the health promotion program is a corporation strategy�.”that employee health and job satisfaction affects their productivity. Employees need to see evidence that upper management believes in and is committed to employee health.

Establish a planning committee. Members can include representatives from staff member groups as well as from human resources (HR), safety and health, and communications.

Collect information. To prove that your wellness program is beneficial, establish a benchmark before the wellness program starts. You might wish to look at staff member satisfaction, absenteeism rates, stress levels, drug costs or WCB expenditures.

Assess what workplace facilities are available to support workers to make healthful options like showers and change areas or a secure place to store a bicycle. Assess employee needs through a recent survey or questionnaire, suggestion box or focus group. Communicate the results.

Develop the plan to reflect the information gathered. Include health promotion program objectives, activities and how you’re going to measure whether your objectives were met.

Keep the plan flexible. You could have to change direction in response to employee feedback or changes in the corporation’s structure.

Get executive management approval. Support for staff time and a budget are needed.

Put activities in place. Provide a variety of activities that develop awareness, increase knowledge, develop skills, and provide social interaction.

Activities could include walking clubs, participation in national campaigns such as Corporate Health Promotion Week, SummerActive, WinterActive, corporate challenge, golf days, and newsletters that provide information about community resources.

Worksites can also make it easier for staff members to make healthful choices by providing flextime to allow staff members to fit activity in when it’s convenient or by subsidizing health promotion programs in cooperation with community or private fitness facilities. A policy on catering for meetings can ensure that healthful foods are offered.

Evaluate the plan. Share your successes with others, learn from your mistakes and modify activities.

A wellness program doesn’t have to be complicated or a gigantic investment. Just do it. Get support from management, bring a few committed people together to generate some ideas and get started.

Health Promotion Programs – Creating Supportive Environments.

August 27th, 2010 by Health Fair, under Corporate Health Wellness, Wellness Programs. No Comments

Precisely how does it feel to walk into your worksite? Do people look happy? is the place well lit and cheerful? Do you feel welcome, wanted and energized? Or do you feel a gloom come over you, and count the hours until you can leave?

The influence of the workplace environment on the wellness of personnel is profound. First there is the physical look, feel, smell, and sounds of the place. Then you’re affected by the policies, like whether others are permitted to smoke around you.

After awhile, more subtle factors start to affect you. Do your attempts to adopt a healthier lifestyle get recognized at work, or are they sabotaged? Are your managers inspiring you by being healthful role models? Do you get regular opportunities to learn healthier behavior?

In a supportive environment, staff members feel that the company they work for provides them with encouragement, opportunity, and rewards for healthy lifestyles.

And the spirit that results is highly contagious. Employees who feel cared are naturally more loyal and productive.

The following ideas will help you transform your worksite environment into one that in truth supports the wellness of your workers and organization.

Health Promotion Program Ideas for Creating Supportive Environments

Wellness Friendly Facilities

When you enter a workplace, do you feel comfortable? Could you be glad working there? is there enough light and clean air? Are there pleasant work areas, places to eat decent food, take a walk before lunch? Close your eyes. Exactly how does it smell? Sound? Do the workers have enough space?

There is no doubt that our physical environment affects us, from basic safety matters to subtle factors that could cause or reduce stress. Healthy environments often have these features -

o Vending machines with healthy food options like low-fat milk, fruits, sugar-free and caffeine-free beverages and low-calorie snacks

o Workout area, walking paths, playing fields, basketball hoop, or other exercise opportunities onsite or nearby

o Cafeteria offers healthful foods including a salad bar with low-fat dressing

o Natural light is used whenever possible; all lighting is appropriate and adequate

o Heating and ventilation is adjustable, comfortable and healthy

o No cigarette machines, ashtrays, or use of tobacco areas on-site

o Noise levels are safe and conducive to concentration

o Be certain to work station furniture conforms to ergometric standards

o Safety hazards have been eliminated

o Lockers and showers are available for staff who workout before work or during breaks

o Stairs are clean and well lit, convenient and pleasant to use

Familiarity may make it hard to evaluate a workplace. Individuals get used to stressful conditions and forget that conditions ever bothered them.

It may be useful to ask people who are unfamiliar with your worksite to walk through with you. Professional advisors can also help.

Proactive Health Promotion Policies

One clear way to influence behavior is through policies and procedures. If nurses are not allowed to work more than twelve hours in a row, there are going to be fewer medication errors.

If parents are permitted flextime to attend to their children’s needs, they will be less stressed. If employees can apply unused sick days to planned vacation time, they will save them up in lieu of calling in sick to use them all.

Supportive corporate policies could include -

o Seatbelt use required in business automobiles

o Drug and alcohol policies are appropriate to the industry

o Emergency procedures are developed, known, and practiced

o Flexible work schedules allow staff to exercise, attend children’s school conferences, etc.

o Nonsmoking policy is enforced

o Excessive overtime is discouraged

o Membership at fitness facility is partially reimbursed

o Shift workforce are scheduled to allow adequate rest

o Medical care coverage rewards good health

o Absenteeism policy rewards workers who don’t use sick days

o Employee assistance program available to help personnel with chemical dependencies, depression, family problems

o Meaningful consequences are given for unsafe, unhealthful, prohibited behavior. Your business may have a policy against alcohol use during work hours, but when everyone looks the other way when someone comes back from lunch smelling like beer, the culture is one that allows drinking at lunch-and one in which written policies can be safely ignored.

Prohibited behaviors ought to be confronted promptly. Otherwise your policies become mere lip service in lieu of springboards to health.

Consistent Recognition and Rewards for Success

Attention, praise, and rewards are given for wellness achievements.

You can show you value wellness by celebrating your health promotion programs and those who’ve made lifestyle improvements in organization newsletters, on bulletin boards, and at annual banquets, meetings, and celebrations. Incentives are a direct way to show appreciation, too.

Wellness mentors are sought and applauded, too. Employees who support others’ efforts to improve their health are noticed and appreciated. Peer modeling and mentoring courses can encourage those who enjoy assisting others to step forward into a new role.

Managers Model and Support Healthful Behavior

Nothing could say “We encourage you to exercise often” better than a manager going on a bike ride during the lunch hour–or your supervisor sitting next to you in a weight control class.

Wellness activities promote relaxed interaction between people from different departments and at different levels in the chain of command. That promotes relaxed communication and a feeling of solidarity that is pure gold.

Managers can also provide support for staff who are working on improving their health. It doesn’t take anything fancy-just a “good job” or “nice to see you at the fitness club” can put a glow on the cheeks of most of us.

Managers can also help by permitting staff members the flexibility to attend wellness events.

Ongoing Health Promotion Programs

It’s vital that you give workforce the sense that the health promotion program is a permanent and important part of the company, not a company fad. That can start as soon as a new worker is hired.

New personnel are oriented to the health promotion program as one of the employee benefits. Information about the health promotion program must be presented by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable person who invites the new employee to participate.

The workers are familiar with the ongoing health promotion programs.

The health promotion programs and wellness staff are well known in the business. Opportunities to participate are abundant and it’s easy to sign up.

A wide variety of awareness classes are offered. There are topics of interest for everybody.