Health Links (HL): Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?
City of Littleton (CL): As a homerule municipality, Littleton provides essential services to citizens, greatly impacting much of their day to day activities. When employees are healthy and happy, the workplace is better and citizens can enjoy all the benefits of a healthy, happy, thriving community.
HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?
CL: Littleton offers a robust workplace safety and wellness program with our own health and wellness clinic, on site health screenings, a number of individual or group competitions and challenges, and the opportunity to earn paid-time-off by completing a combination of independent, group, or provider-related activities through an interactive online website. In addition, the City offers a bike share program, safety and financial education courses, gym membership discounts, standup/treadmill desks and bikes, and on site fitness classes.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
CL: The City uses various metrics to measure the success of our program. Of the 90% of employees that have completed annual biometric screenings, we have been able to measure significant decreases in the various risk factors measured. Medical claims have also decreased since 2012. In addition to the hard data we obtain, we have high levels of employee satisfaction and senior management support based on data collected from annual Health Risk Questionnaires.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
CL: Our biggest obstacle has been making our programs accessible for our diverse workforce that have various schedules, work locations, and health and wellness goals. The City has had an official Wellness Program since 1995, so we’ve had many years to fine tune the program. We’ve been able to learn from previous years and improve our initiatives and offerings each year to help better meet the needs and wants of our dynamic workplace.
HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?
CL: Littleton strives to bring wellness into the community and sponsors events such as the annual Littleton Twilight Criterium. In its fourth year, the Criterium will be benefiting Doctors Care. Littleton also encourages employees to join together and create teams for local charity events, such as the upcoming Miles for Tuesday 5k. Littleton also recognizes that a healthy workforce means a productive workforce, which can benefit the community through avenues from customer service to specialized services such as our Aging Well Resource Center or Omnibus and Shopping Cart services.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?
CL: Obtain employee feedback and listen to it. You can implement the best wellness plan in the world, but if it isn’t used by your employees, it isn’t worth anything.