Employees Wellness Program

How to set up a wellness program for your workers
Workplace wellness doesn’t have to mean on-site gyms and in-house personal trainers. Small companies may be able to encourage healthy living and offer compelling perks to employees without spending a lot of money and time putting together a plan. For a small company, the payoff can be big: Many employers report that healthier employees show up to work more often, are more productive, and visit the doctor less frequently. The payoff is also big for employees — and that should be your focus when implementing your program. The program is for them, not something you’re doing to them to reduce your insurance costs. Having the right attitude and getting everyone involved in a positive way is a good first step.

Here are five tips for small companies that want to get started with wellness at work.

1. Clean out the vending machines. Strip out the cookies and candy bars, and replace them with healthier snacks such as granola bars and reduced-fat or low-calorie treats. 2. Invest in pedometers. For just a few dollars each, you can buy pedometers for your employees. Pass them out and encourage staffers to keep track of the number of daily steps, walking a few extra each day. You can even start a walking competition at work. Ask your insurance provider. Some offer pedometers for free. 3. Give employees fast-food facts. Did you know that a Burger King Whopper with cheese packs 770 calories and 48 grams of fat? Your employees might not know, either. Create a pocket guide to help employees make informed decisions for themselves and their families when they run through the drive-through window after work. You can aggregate information available on most major fast-food chains’ Web sites. Or, check a Web site like CalorieKing.com. 4. Offer health-risk assessments. Employees who complete assessments may find risk factors and then be able to take steps to head off health threats. For $5 to $15 per employee, your insurance company or a third-party vendor may be able to provide personal online assessments — usually 80 to 120 questions — based on a user’s family health history, eating habits and physical activity. Be sure to make assessments voluntary and confidential, and assure employees that the results won’t be shared with anyone. Offer two free movie tickets or another token to entice employees to complete the assessment. 5. Review claims. When it’s time to renew your company’s health insurance, look at your claims data. If you know many employees have blood-pressure problems, considering bringing in speakers to talk about managing it or screeners from a local hospital or clinic. But you may not need to review claims data to spot opportunities for taking preventative steps. If, for instance, a lot of employees are men in their 50s, you might want to consider covering prostate screenings. – Companies that want to take a bigger step toward employee wellness may want to try an employee contest or challenge, a friendly competition that may pit groups of employees against one another. The format is a natural fit for small companies, where the camaraderie can lend itself to teamwork and competitive spirit. Developing such contests can be time-consuming and expensive. But they can pay off with healthier employees and lower health-care costs. For example, at one small company, employees team up and also individually earn $3 for every 1% of body weight they lose. At the end of a quarter, each member of the winning team receives as much as $50 and second-place-team members a little less. Another company offers an optional wellness program in which employees participate in a nine-month contest and earn points by completing health and fitness challenges. The grand prize: $1,500 toward exercise equipment or a gym membership, in addition to a $1,500 spa package and $500 cash.

Survey for Companies Letter from management for their employees

[On Company Letterhead] [Insert Date] [Insert Salutation]

At [XYZ Company], we recognize how important it is for our employees to keep healthy. We also realize the importance of offering you opportunities to make a difference in your well-being. Therefore, we are conducting an Employee Wellness Interest Survey to determine your interest in participating in worksite wellness programs. We want to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to provide you with the programs, seminars and activities designed to meet your needs. Please help us by taking a few minutes to complete the attached brief survey and return it to [insert contact name] by [insert submission date]. The survey is completely voluntary and confidential – you do not need to give us your name. However, there is the option to do so if you are interested in helping to plan and promote future programs. Thank you in advance for your participation. Best Regards, [Insert Signatory]

Attachment

Additional Key Messages to Consider in the Content of Your Cover Letter: ■ Importance of self-responsibility in maintaining wellness ■ What we do is important to our health and well-being ■ We all need support for health and wellness ■ Our wellness program will be designed to meet your needs ■ We want your help for program success. ■ We care about managing health care costs

Employee Wellness Interest Survey Dear Fellow Employee: As part of our commitment to helping our employees be the best they can be, your health is important to us. We are interested in knowing what wellness programs you would like us to consider offering in the future. To help you achieve your specific health and wellness goals, we need your input! Please complete the attached Employee Wellness Interest Survey. Your participation is completely voluntary and should only take a few minutes. Your survey answers will help us develop future programming that’s more in line with your specific health interests and needs. Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to provide your valuable feedback. Please return this form to __________________________ within one week of receiving it 1. Would you participate in a wellness program if offered to you at work?  Yes  No 2. How do you like to learn about health and lifestyle information? (Please select all answers that apply.)        One-on-one counseling Phone counseling Health Screenings (i.e. Blood Pressure) Health fairs On-site workshops Online programs Group Support        Videos Audio cassette tapes DVD Books/Materials Self-directed programs Physician CD

3. What time of day would you be most likely to participate in a wellness program? (Please select all answers that apply.)  Monday  Morning  Tuesday  Lunchtime  Wednesday  Afternoon  Thursday  A.M. (before work)  Friday  P.M. (after work)  Weekend Shift  Any day or time 4. How long should a wellness activity last?  30 minutes  45 minutes  60 minutes  90 minutes 5. Do you have access to the Internet?  Yes  No If yes, where is the most convenient place to access the Internet?  Work  Home  Both

6. Using the scale below, please rate how interested you are in each wellness topic. The more specific information we receive from you, the more tailored our wellness program can be to your needs and wants. This question is voluntary. Please circle your interest level for the wellness topics listed below: Interest Level Wellness Topic Allergies Asthma Back Injury Prevention Cholesterol Management Diabetes Emotional Health Healthy Cooking Men’s Health Nutrition Parenting Physical Activity Skin Cancer Smoking Cessation Stress Management Walking Program Weight Management Women’s Health Work/Life Balance Other: _________________ Not Interested 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Very Interested 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

7. Please indicate which screening test(s) you would participate in if offered at your worksite (your screening results will be confidential).            Blood Pressure Flu Shots Body Fat Cholesterol Seated Massage Hearing Glucose Bone Density Vision Skin Analyzer None. I am not interested in screenings at this time

8. Background Information. These questions are voluntary (this information would be helpful to better tailor wellness program offerings).

Gender:  Male  Female Age  18 – 30  31 – 40  41 – 50  51 + 9. Optional: Would you be willing to help plan and promote wellness activities at the worksite? If yes, please fill out your information below. Name: _________________________ Phone: _________________________ Department: ________________________ Email: _____________________________