Happy, healthy employees are more likely to enjoy their jobs and in turn be more productive. Quality of life translates into quality work. Colquitt Regional Medical Center’s employee wellness program was designed to encourage healthy living among employees as a way to decrease risk factors for insurance screenings and help employees achieve an overall healthier lifestyle.
Any Colquitt Regional employee can participate in the wellness programs. The main concern is the health of the individual employee in lowering risk factors for cardiovascular, metabolic, and pulmonary diseases. Encouraging physical activity and healthier eating can lower modifiable risk factors, such as risk for hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia. In return, healthier employees are usually happier, which leads to less sickness, increased morale, and overall increased production. Energy expended is energy gained.
By lowering risk factors, insurance pricing lowers, which saves money for employees and hospitals both. Doctor visits are also minimized, and in return employees do not miss time at work for sickness. Tangible benefits include increased productivity, reduced absences, lower turnover rates, and increased retention rates. Intangible benefits are increased morale, loyalty, and employee awareness.
However, most employees aren’t necessarily concerned with eating well or exercising while they’re working. The employees at Colquitt Regional work hard and are good at what they do, so to ask them to attend a class or go for a walk during the work day is not feasible for many. Exercising for 10 or 15 minutes throughout the work day is not going to achieve optimal results, as employees are encouraged to complete 30 minutes of sustainable physical activity a day. But any activity is better than none, and by encouraging staff to take a break or go for a walk, Colquitt Regional hopes to create a more conscious effort or awareness among employees regarding the need to be more active.
Colquitt Regional’s staff is very much competition driven, so finding ways and offering incentives for associates to want to get involved and become active is the main challenge. Competitions with high rewards are super beneficial on site. When many of the departments compete against each other to win, participation increases.
The wellness program offers weight loss and exercise competitions; employee health activities; individual nutrition and weight loss counseling; body fat measurements; exercise prescription; and classes including yoga, Pilates, walking, boot camp, HIIT, and nicotine cessation.
Trey Duncan, health and wellness coordinator, visits many of Colquitt Regional’s departments every day to lead short exercise routines and to discuss any health concerns employees might have. He hopes to also have an on-site fitness center where employees would have access to exercise when they are not working.
Colquitt Regional partners with the county to provide a wellness program for their employees too. They also offer nicotine cessation classes and health fairs for county employees.
10 Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs
1. Provides a fun break from monotony of work
2. Improves productivity
3. Makes employees happier
4. Builds community spirit in the workplace
5. Lowers healthcare costs
6. Provides employees with a sense of accomplishment
7. Improves physical fitness
8. Leads to weight loss
9. Lowers stress
10. Leads to healthier habits