In today’s age of 64oz big gulps, supersize fries and fried chicken replacing bread in a sandwich it’s no surprise that our employees are less and less healthy. Many organizations have begun to fight back with innovative and effective employee wellness programs to entice their employees to live healthier in the hopes that employee absences due to illness and disability can be reduced as well as expecting that healthier employees are happier employees. Even the CDC is in on this action with their “Healthier Worksite Initiative” by providing various information and resources for employers who wish to encourage their employees to lead healthier lifestyles and make healthier choices. Encourage employee wellness and enjoy more human resources tools using your hospital intranet.
Typically the Human Resources or dietary department is tasked with the job of developing a wellness program for the organization that not only persuades the employees to participate but also delivers information about the program in a reliable, fast and easy to find manner. Additionally, it helps with employee engagement.
Employees can be encouraged to participate in various ways. Many employees participate because of their own personal drive to be healthy but others need a push. Successful programs often use rewards such as depositing funds into the employee’s Health Savings Account (HSA) when the employee meets specific program requirements or completes specific activities such as completing a health screening, completing a smoking cessation program or completing a physical. Another common way of encouraging participation is to position the wellness program as a competition among the employees much like as a departmental biggest loser competition or based on completing program activities or objectives allowing the employee to be entered into drawings for prizes.
There are three key ways that your organization's hospital intranet site should encourage employee wellness:
1. -Use the intranet site to facilitate communication about the organization's Employee Wellness Program. And make sure to also use the intranet site as a tracking tool to gauge both individual employee’s efforts as well as benchmarking the organizations progress in the wellness initiatives. It is common for the intranet to host a tracking application that lets employees login and keep track of various aspects of their wellness effort such as tracking of exercise efforts and tracking of health activities. In addition to a tracking tool the employees should also be provided with additional wellness program information such as a copy of the organization's wellness initiative documentation, information about corporate events such as screenings and health events and regularly featured topics related to wellness and health.
2. Devote an area on the intranet to publish information about nutrition awareness. Provide your employees with information about:
· Healthy meal planning and cooking
· Balancing your diet by following the USDA food guide pyramid
· Dietary tips & articles
· Nutrition Care manuals
· Provide a means to have employees publish recipes among each other
· Publish cafeteria menus for the organizations cafeteria so employees can plan their healthy eating
3. Publish materials and resources related to health and infection control that will guide your employees to making the proper lifestyle choices to not only improve their own health but prevent spreading illness to other employees. Some examples of what you should publish include:
· Fitness & exercise articles and resources
· Workplace ergonomics, posture, stretching tips and advice on how to prevent workplace injury
· Weight management tips and advice
· Disease prevention information and links
· TB Test reminders and education sheets
· Fatigue prevention tips
· Stress management and advice
· Exercises for prevention and treatment of common pain and injuries
· Hygiene corporate policies and procedures and other information
· Respiratory etiquette information
· Woman’s health resources
· Seasonal influenza information & tips
· Medical checkup & self-evaluation information
· Aging wellness & fitness tips
· Dental & Eye care resources
· Sleep apnea advice and treatments
Encouraging your employees to be healthier is not just good business, it’s common sense. With a good corporate wellness initiative and an intranet site that backs it up your employees will be much more enthusiastic about their health which will lead to better attendance and fewer issues in general. Join innovative healthcare employers around the US and make your employees' wellness an organizational priority today.