As an employee well-being specialist and someone who is passionate about helping small employers, I recognize that while small employers want to do the right thing, there are many challenges associated with bringing worksite wellness strategies to your employees. I have concluded that with a little effort and a little assistance from local health non-profits, every small employer can do the following five strategies:

1. Periodically ask employees for their input and ideas regarding the work environment, work processes and their needs and interests.

Suggestions:

  • Ask individual employees and groups of employees – use focus groups
  • Conduct needs and interests surveys
  • Conduct culture/climate surveys
  • Conduct safety surveys

2. Regularly provide health and safety awareness materials and educational opportunities to employees.

Suggestions:

  • Use the National Health Observances monthly calendar to guide your delivery of awareness material. Here is the link: http://healthfinder.gov/NHO/nhoPDF/2013nho.pdf
  • Give out newsletters, bulletins, tips sheets, etc. Here is a free resource to help get you started: http://www.healthymaineworks.com/healthpromo.html
  • Link to community health and wellness educational opportunities
  • Invite your local hospital, local community agencies and non-profits to deliver on-site educational programming based on employee needs and interests

3. Utilize or modify the work environment to make healthy and safe choices the easiest choice.

Suggestions:

  • Establish an employee break room with sink, refrigerator and microwave
  • Create opportunities for recognition or rewards
  • Follow safe housekeeping practices
  • Use available indoor and outdoor facilities such as stairs and parking lots for physical activities
  • Include healthy food choices as an option anytime you provide food to employees

4. Adopt and implement appropriate employee management policies.

Suggestions:

  • Wellness-related policies such as tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition, lactation support
  • Safety-related policies
  • Work/life-related policies such as availability of flex-time

5. Promote connection with community resources, events and activities.

Suggestions:

  • Farmers markets
  • Community 5K Fun Run
  • Walking trails
  • Tobacco cessation services at the local hospital
  • Activities at local non-profits

William McPeckWilliam McPeck, MSW, CWWPC, WLCP

Bill McPeck is a Kelly Wellness Consulting, Inc. Associate. Bill is a Certified Wellness Culture Coach, Worksite Wellness Program Consultant and Work-Life Professional. He is available to help you with all your employee wellness, safety, work-life and well-being needs. Contact Bill with your questions, comments, or concerns at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com

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