Workplace Wellness Word BubbleLast week’s post about workplace wellness focused on why effective wellness programs pay off more than ever in today’s marketplace. Now let’s look at some companies that are doing wellness right.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), in Stephen Miller’s “Wellness Program ‘Best Practices’ Foster Success” lists four criteria that correlate with wellness programs that lower medical costs and improve employee health:

  • Including spouses in key components of the program.
  • Promoting all wellness activities under a single brand name.
  • Having a formal, written strategic plan with financial objectives.
  • Active participation by senior leadership in wellness programs.

A scorecard report from nonprofit Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) and consulting firm Mercer includes this information and more about workplace wellness best practices. HERO collected and analyzed data from over 700 U.S. employers. 

Harvard Business Review’s blog, “What Great Corporate Wellness Programs Do,” by Altitude’s Cortney Rowan and Karuna Harishanker puts it this way:

  • The best wellness programs bring the built environment, company policies, and leadership messaging under a single mission of wellness.
  • When health is made personal and put in real-life terms, people discover the value that health can hold in their lives — and that provides the strong call to action.
  • Wellness needs to be done with employees, not to them, or the effects won’t last. When employees feel a system is their own, engagement increases.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s “Workplace Wellness Programs Study” includes case studies of wellness programs at unnamed organizations of different types and sizes, but let’s look at specific businesses with successful programs.

Teledyne Brown Engineering

The Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA) awarded Teledyne the Gold Level Well Workplace Award, and numerous other organizations, including the American Cancer Society, have recognized the company’s comprehensive wellness program. The program features:

  • A free-of-charge facility with cardiovascular and resistance-training equipment, locker rooms with showers, a room for group exercise and stretching, and a wellness resource library
  • Exercise Classes with Certified Instructors
  • Weekly Yoga, Total Body Workout and Aerobics classes taught by certified instructors free of charge
  • Each employee receives 10 sick days per year
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Regular blood pressure screenings and annual comprehensive screenings on-site at no cost
  • Smoking Cessation Programs on site with reimbursement for nicotine replacement aids
  • On-site Registered Nurse
  • Health counseling, coaching, and consultation
  • Flu Shots
  • Wellness Classes on topics such as healthy nutrition, benefits of exercise, heart health, cancer prevention, and stress management

Ventura County, California

The county’s wellness program has received honors such as the California Fit Business Gold Award and the C. Everett Koop National Health Award. All regular County employees and their spouses are eligible and encouraged to participate. The program includes:

  • Annual Wellness Profiles to evaluate cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and other important risk factors.
  • Extensive results booklets to help employees and spouses improve their health.
  • Optional meetings with a personal Health Track coach to address high risks identified.
  • A wide variety of Wellness Program classes on topics such as diabetes, weight loss, stress management, parenting, and fitness.
  • Resources to help employees eat well and move more.

Vanderbilt University

Among the university’s honors are the Nashville Business Journal’s Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® Award and the National Business Group on Health’s Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® award in the Gold category.

Vanderbilt’s wellness program consists of “four integrated programs that exist to protect and support the health and productivity of its faculty and staff”:

  • Work life (safety, injuries, screenings, ergonomics, vaccines)
  • Personal life (lifestyle education, exercise options, walk-in clinic, EAP program, hardship counseling)
  • Career life (faculty physician/nurse, workplace performance coaching, manager support, resilience toolkit)
  • Family life (pregnancy and new baby education, in-home sitters for children or adults, on-campus childcare)

As WELCOA’s website says:

“A ‘Well Workplace’ is an organization fully embracing its responsibility for maximizing the health and well-being of its employees. In a Well Workplace Award winning organization, it is evident that employee wellness has become part of the overall business strategy. To be sure, in a Well Workplace Award winning organization, the vision of protecting and enhancing the health and well-being of each and every employee becomes part of the very fabric of the organization—not something extraneous and peripheral to the core business functions.

The three organizations profiled here clearly embody that philosophy. Does yours?

For more on building a culture of health, happiness and appreciation, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.
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