Creating Healthier Employees
Employee wellness programs are becoming a must for employers in order to address rising health care costs. Employers should first learn what the health risks of their population are and then address these health risks with the goal of controlling the cost of employee healthcare, improving absenteeism and increasing productivity.
Regardless of the size of your business and the number of employees that you have, you can implement a wellness program.
The first steps in creating a wellness program or initiative are:
- Gain senior leadership support and identify a leader to be your wellness champion. Your champion should also “walk the walk” of wellness so that your employees will take the initiatives seriously.
- Identify the health risks of your employees so that you can address them. The best way to identify health risks is to provide an incentive to your employees (with the option to include spouses) to complete a Health Risk Assessment. Employers covered by the Scott & White Health Plan can use the on-line VitalCare Succeed Health Risk Assessment for their employees and spouses on the medical plan.
- Depending on the size of your organization, form a volunteer Wellness Committee to create programs, and implement plans that will support a healthier culture.
- Identify low-hanging fruit for a healthier workplace.
- Communicate effectively to your employees.
A good place to start is to address the following areas:
- Weight management
- Healthy diet
- Exercise and physical activity
Program ideas: Staff weight loss challenges; healthy work-sponsored lunches and break-rooms; fitness challenges; seminars; extended lunch breaks for staff who work-out during lunch; fitness center discounts or reimburse cost for regularly exercising; worksite fitness equipment, facilities, and/or instructors (yoga, Zumba, fitness camp); and incentives and prizes for meeting weight loss, healthy diet, and fitness criteria.
- Tobacco use
Program ideas: Create a tobacco-free campus and provide opportunities for your employees and their family members to quit tobacco for good. Visit our Enuff of the Puff Employer Resources page for more information about the cost of tobacco to your organization, how to create a tobacco-free workplace and how to provide support to your employees.
- Medical self-care (Annual preventive care and recommended biometrics)
Program ideas: $0 co-pay for preventive care; Paid time for annual preventive care appointment; free biometric screenings
- Stress management
Program ideas: Implement an employee assistance program (EAP); free on-site stress-relieving chair massages; paid time off for vacation and relaxation; seminars or on-line stress management programs; physical activity and fitness opportunities
- Injury prevention
- Back care
Program ideas: free on-site flu vaccinations; seat-belt safety; required annual safety training; seminars; on-line life-style management programs
For more information about creating an Employee Wellness program, please view the slideshow Creating a Healthy Workplace .
Ideas for Your Workplace
Scott & White's commitment to create a culture of wellness includes helping our Scott & White family adopt healthy life-long habits. As part of this effort, we sponsor challenges and offer on-campus support that encourages our staff to be as healthy as they can be. We are sharing these programs with our community so that you have a starting place for implementing similar programs at your workplace.
Scott & White's Biggest Loser Challenge
Our Scott & White family participates in an annual team weight loss challenge that supports a healthy weight loss through diet and exercise. In 2012, our first place team, the Crimson Chicks of Waco, lost almost 15% of its body weight and almost 100 pounds in just 13 weeks. Our top individual lost 21.5% of her body weight and 42 pounds. Learn more about our Scott & White Biggest Loser Challenge, our results and how you can implement a program at your work-site or with your friends.
Scott & White's Executive MBA (Mind, Body, Activity)
Our Executive MBA program is an intense 16-week personalized wellness course on healthy eating, exercise and life-work balance. The program challenges our Scott & White leaders to take action to improve their health and serve as a role model to our staff members and community. This program is offered to small groups of no more than 10 leaders, a few times a year and is intended to help leaders lose weight, get fit and lead by example. Learn more about our Executive MBA program and the accomplishments of our leaders.
Scott & White offers 6-week themed virtual trek challenges with prizes for those staff and their family members who complete the challenge. Staff can form teams of two to five people, and name their team. Staff are given a weekly mileage goal to meet. Everyone who completes the challenge and achieves the weekly mileage goal will receive the challenge prize and their names are also entered into drawings for bigger prizes. Participants receive a weekly email that includes a newsletter with facts about their virtual trek destination and their weekly mileage goal for the next week. Staff can walk, run, cycle or swim to achieve their mileage goals. Visit our virtual treks options, customize for your workplace, and engage your staff for a fun way to encourage and reward daily fitness.
- Trekking the U.S. Hiking Trails
- Trek up Mount Everest
- Safari Trek
- Antarctic Dream Trek
- Egypt Experience Trek