Health Links (HL): Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?
Ebert Family Clinic (EFC): We put a lot of emphasis on our employees’ health and safety so that each person may achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle, even if it is something as simple as learning how to reduce stress at work. We have found that it increases employee morale and quality of patient care due to a much more confident, driven staff.
HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?
EFC: We focused on reducing stressors at work, bringing healthy foods into the clinic for the staff, and incorporating desk yoga in our day-to-day activities. Quarterly, we set personal, work related, and community goals with our staff for them to pursue. There is an incentive of a $25.00 gift card of their choice to a health related organization (Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Work-out class, massage therapy, and so on).
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
EFC: We, along with our employees, set quarterly goals for individuals, the workplace and the commuity. If our employees meet these goals we reward them with a healthy $25 gift card of their choice. We evaluate program success based on staffn participation during our monthly worksite well-being meetings.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
EFC: We had some resistance from employees initially as they felt the wellness program was an added day-to-day requirement and they felt their plates were full enough. After addressing a true concern such as stress management in the clinic with our stress kit, the resistance has subsided and buy-in has set in. The employees realize this program is a benefit and not a requirement.
HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?
EFC: Yes, we get each staff member to set quarterly goals to meet 3 community outreach needs during that period to receive a reward. They can contribute by simply volunteering with their children’s schools or something as large as doing federal advocacy for a non-profit.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?
EFC: Ask your employees first what wellness means to them and explain that wellness can mean a variety of things to help them determine what is best for the organization. This will create a buy-in from the staff. Don’t get discouraged, there will be some resistance to any change.