Wellness in the workplace-What works?

It is one thing to talk about wellness in the workplace citing other statistics and sharing other firm’s ideas.  It is quite another to share your own stories from real-life experience.  Today I’ll do a little of that, the personal sharing.

I spent 6 years as the senior HR professional at an engineering services firm here in the Nashville area.  During that time I was fortunate to have developed a partnership with the Dayani Center at Vanderbilt University as our corporate wellness partner.  I’ll explain the progression we took over the years we worked together.

Our first steps involved providing totally voluntary health screening for employees.  As you might guess, the only employees who took advantage were those who were already healthy.  We then “upped the ante” by making the participation voluntary, but by offering a rate reduction for those employees who did the screening.  This action pushed many of our employees with very few exceptions into the process and the results were solid and gratifying.  Every year we were able to uncover some type of health issue that would have become chronic had we not offered the screening.  I will not go into specific details, but the ounce of prevention we paid certainly paid off in many ways both for the individuals and the firm.

We also offered a number of healthy lifestyle classes including how to cook healthy   and how to eat healthy, especially when traveling.  Many of our employees purchased pedometers  and started to make daily and weekly goals for the number of steps they took.

Workplace wellness works-I lived with it, helped nurture it along and I saw the benefits.

What are you doing to make your workplace a more healthy one?