Christie RD promotes corporate wellness. Considering that working adults spend most of their waking hours at the jobsite, it is clear that businesses with solid health programs will have healthier and happier employees. The following interview was conducted with one of our corporate clients, Hospice of the Piedmont, who has seen great improvements in the health of the staff. Much credit is due to their HR director who invests time and effort in providing health-related programs to her employees. If you are in the work-force, we hope you find these tips encouraging and helpful!
Dietitian: What steps have you taken to promote better health at your workplace?
- We host an annual benefit fair and invite our insurance vendors, the local YMCA, a nutritionist and massage therapist.
- We conducted a Biggest Loser contest. Entry was open to all staff and the fee was $10 per participant. Staff weighed in on a weekly basis. The dollar amount collected was divided with half going to the employee who lost the highest percentage BMI over the 10 weeks and the other half as a donation to our non-profit organization.
- We have a local farmer who offers a produce delivery subscription to staff at a minimal cost. The food is local, fresh and organic. Employee’s sign up on a quarterly basis and deliveries are made once a week.
- We provided free pedometers to staff that did not already have one.
Dietitian: What changes have resulted?
- The benefit fair makes employees aware of or reminds them of their benefits as a Hospice of the Piedmont employee. It also is a great value for staff to have a person to talk to face to face about their particular issues or needs. It seems that the staff responds better to this format than other formats such as reading literature or visiting a website. They seem to be more engaged after attending the fair.
- We had 26 staff members to participate in the Biggest Loser contest for a combined total weight loss of 163.2 lbs. Everyone really supported each other in their weight loss goals. The participants enjoyed the contest so much that they have decided to continue the weigh-ins on a monthly basis.
- This nutrition consulting service has been going on for over a year now. It started with just a handful of employees subscribing to the service and it has and continues to grow. The employee’s who participate really enjoy the service.
Dietitian: What would you recommend to other business?
- Talk to your insurance broker or provider. There may be hidden benefits in your coverage that provides free or discounted services to employees.
- Contact resources in your community. As an example, a local chiropractor provides the massage therapist free of charge to our benefit fair each year.
- Don’t know where to start or what your staff would be interested in? Ask them. Conduct a brief and informal survey to find out where their interests are.