Read on to find out how Rogers County Health Department is working to ensure their employees are happy and healthy, by providing many opportunities for workplace wellness. The health department’s wellness program offers employees opportunities to improve several areas of wellness: physical fitness, nutrition, mental health, and stress management. The program has a committee with representation from each area at the health department in order to gather interests and include all employees.
Q & A
Q: How did you develop your workplace wellness initiatives?
A: Employees felt that we needed to “practice what we preach” in regard to health so we brainstormed and came up with great ideas and surveyed all employees. We created a committee of representatives from each department to pursue the top ideas from the survey as we wanted to experience the benefits of a healthier workforce. Also, we implemented a wellness policy to justify the use of worktime in order to create a healthy workplace.
Q: How did this move your work plan forward?
A: The top two ideas were implemented and will be completed (weight loss and walking/running program) with committee members leading and several employees participating in each. Other programs will begin when those are completed. Others are continual, i.e. exercise DVD, Tai Chi, and yoga and having a dedicated group of employees who participate.
Q: How much did it cost? How much staff time or volunteer effort did it take?
A: Our committee had three 1-hour meetings to get things started. Cost was minimal and a small budget was allowed for healthy incentives. The wellness policy was created using a Certified Healthy Business example.
Q: What lessons did you learn?
A: Possibly use a quality improvement strategy with all staff to collect feedback on those items implemented. This could be used to improve the process and offerings. Most of all, we learned the lesson that not everyone will participate in all activities and some will not participate in anything, therefore do not push too hard to include those resistant to worksite wellness. Instead, keep offering a variety with a positive attitude.
Q: Where are you planning to take this idea in the future?
A: Continue to regularly promote wellness, offer programs throughout year that are selected by employees, and continue to survey the employees yearly.
For information on Rogers County Health Department’s wellness policy and programs, please contact Renetta Harrison, Health Educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-341-3166. If you are interested in developing a wellness policy or program, the TSET Healthy Living Program in Rogers County staff can assist by calling 918-343-2530.