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>> Thursday, October 20, 2011

October is Healthy Workplace Month!

Get your Wellness Program Started Today In a healthy workplace the welfare of employees is a top priority! Employers of healthy workplaces know that healthy employees are more productive, have greater job satisfaction, take fewer sick days and are injured less. This is good for employees and good for a company’s bottom line! So why not give wellness a try in your workplace? Here’s some great advice to get you started. Getting Started: Wellness programs can begin from a number of different approaches. Some organizations choose to start with a few key initiatives such as lunchtime education sessions or arranging discounted memberships for staff at a local fitness center. Starting with a few initiatives is a great way to get the ball rolling and build interest. Other workplaces may also choose to start by conducting an employee survey to determine employee needs before taking on anything more ambitious. This survey can also be repeated later on to show successes and provide justification for expanding the program further. The long term goal should be to eventually develop a comprehensive workplace wellness program. Success Factors: Regardless of how you get your program started, there are a number of factors which lead to successful programs. Leadership and involvement from management: Build your business case and approach management for support and approval. A program that doesn’t fit with the company’s goals will be a tough sell, so streamline your ideas with your

company’s mission and vision and focus on the benefits to both the employer and the employee. Employee participation in planning: Engage employees to participate in a wellness committee to contribute to the planning and ongoing maintenance of the program. This will ensure that the program meets staff needs and allows employees to show leadership in the workplace. Program offerings that meet the needs of employees: Use employee surveys, get feedback at staff meetings, provide suggestion boxes or form a committee. Find any method to get ideas, feedback and support from employees. An approved budget to support the plan: Big or small ensure that the plan you develop will be supported by available funds. To allow your program to grow also allow your budget to grow. Remember that the cost of employee wellness is an investment in the success of your company! Continuous monitoring of the program: Organize regular meetings with your wellness committee and get regular feedback from your team to continually improve your program. With some thoughtful planning, management support and employee participation any company, regardless of size or budget, can develop a workplace wellness program. For more information to get your started visit www.healthyabbotsford.ca and click on “Get Involved” then “Workplaces” to find plenty of ideas, resources and tools.

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Abbotsford-News Thu Oct 20 2011  

Complete edition of The Abbotsford News, as it appears in print. For more online, all the time, see www.abbynews.com