Paddle a kayak during lunch hour. Check out a bike and go for a ride. Challenge a co-worker to a game of ping pong, basketball, or croquet. Show up for yoga class or go for a group walk. Or get involved in a class at work to learn how to reduce stress, eat healthier, manage money, and be happier.
If you want some ideas on what it takes to run a successful wellness program, just take a look at the organizations recently recognized at the HR Summit and Healthiest Employers of Oregon event. Wellsource, Inc., was among the winners in the 2-99 employee category.
“This year, 40 companies were honored as Oregon’s Healthiest Employers in four groups, determined by number of employees,” says Portland Business Journal Editor Suzanne Stevens. 1 “The Healthiest Employers group of Indianapolis scored and ranked Oregon companies based on an index comprised of six categories: culture and leadership commitment, foundational components, strategic planning, communications and marketing, programming and interventions, and reporting and analysis.”
This isn’t the first time Wellsource has been recognized for running a successful wellness program. Wellsource received a third-place award in 2015, and was ranked among the top 10 in 2014.
“We’re proud to be part of a select group of organizations to receive a Healthiest Employers of Oregon award,” says Wellsource CEO Chris McReynolds. “The foundation of our wellness program is our health risk assessment. We encourage employees to be active, eat healthy, and make smart lifestyle choices in a number of different ways. And we offer incentives for participation like discounts on health insurance premiums, gift cards, and prizes.”
C-Suite Leadership Makes a Difference
McReynolds is among a growing number of lead-by-example C-suite leaders who are having a positive influence on the culture of health in their organizations. He’s a regular at monthly Lunch n’ Learn events. He’s manned a fleet of Vitamix® blenders to make smoothies for everyone at a recent all-staff meeting. He’s laced up his shoes for group walks and hikes. And he even coaches youth sports outside the office.
Take a closer look at Oregon’s Healthiest Employers, and you’ll find the most successful programs have support from leaders like McReynolds. For example, the founder of Grands and Benedicts is training for a trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. When Leatherman Tool Group employees cleared a storage area to build a make-shift gym, the management team noticed and set aside funds to build an onsite 1,260-square-foot fitness center. And Samaritan Health Services created an 18-person wellness council that includes the organization’s COO to better represent its workforce and develop wellness initiatives.
Health Risk Assessment Foundation of Effective Wellness Program
“Creating a culture of health can have a profound and positive influence on a company,” says Wellsource founder Dr. Don Hall.2 “And we recommend that companies start off by offering a health and lifestyle assessment along with a health screening.”
And he’s right. Every organization recognized at the Healthiest Employers of Oregon event offers a health risk assessment to its employees as an integral part of its wellness program. Many of these organizations also reported improvements in areas such as cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, glucose levels, body mass index, and productivity.
“By actively providing wellness activities and developing a culture of health at your organization, you are investing in the greatest asset in your company – the health and well-being of your staff,” says Hall. It will pay rich dividends in goodwill, increased productivity, and ultimately lower healthcare costs.”
- Stevens, S. (2016, August 19). From the editor. HR Summit and Healthiest Employers of Oregon Awards [special section] p.4.
- Hall, D. (2012). 6 steps to a successful wellness program. Clackamas, OR: Wellsource, Inc.