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Many employers struggle with the concept of implementing a company sponsored wellness program. It takes time to plan, support, and maintain a wellness plan. If you want to see a financial impact, you will have to thoroughly investigate the needs of your population and design a program that measures behavior change. When it boils down to it, you are trying to create positive health behaviors in your population. It isn’t rocket science, but we also know organizations may not have the time, funds, or expertise to establish such programs.

If you are ready to take the plunge and dive deep in to a full-scale wellness program (including on-site wellness checks, health coaching, incentive goals) reach out to us, and we’d love the opportunity to work together to get to know your culture and develop a plan. If you aren’t ready, or even if you offer a complete wellness program, please read below for a few free tips to highlight in your organization that could make a huge positive behavior change without spending a dime.

1. Ease the constant daily stressors and improve the mental health of your staff.

Promote your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). A standard EAP offers free counseling over the phone or in-person to employees and their family members for a plethora of needs (wellness, grief, financial, estate planning, etc.). Purple Ink recently did a client survey and found that almost all of our clients offer an EAP. Great news! What needs a push is utilization, and that begins with communication. If you have not recently done an EAP campaign, do it. Do your EAP vendors supply business cards or flyers to hang in break rooms? During manager meetings, share success stories from employees who have used EAP. Equip managers with details of the program to easily give to staff when needed. It is critical to include that the service is confidential and the company does not receive information regarding who is using the service. More than likely, this program is already available to your staff, be sure you use it to its potential. Check out this SHRM article for more tips about EAPs.

2. Create easy and quick access to medical advice.

Encourage staff to call the health plan’s Nurse hotline or Physician on-call. Almost all medical insurance plans include 24-hour access to a nurse line. This number should be provided to each member on the health plan. Recommend that staff keep this number in their wallet or home refrigerator. Easy access to a nurse to get medical advice can save a lot of time rather than waiting in an office or an emergency room. Another resource gaining popularity is physician appointments via phone, Skype or FaceTime. If your plan offers this benefit, communicate this service, as it takes a lot less time for a staff member to go in a conference room and have a 15-minute call with a physician versus leaving work, driving to the appointment, waiting at the office, seeing the doctor and then returning (or never coming back) to the office. Tell management staff to try it and then spread the word to their staff.

3. Urge staff to take breaks in the day to appreciate nature and get moving.

Create walking paths on your campus. Regardless of whether you employ 5 or 500 people, designate a safe walking path that encourages staff to take a break and get some fresh air during the workday. Most people can only concentrate on projects or work for short amounts of time; this quick reset for your staff will encourage them to step away, chat with a coworker, and potentially meet some wellness goals at the same time. If your staff work remotely, send a reminder email or text once a week to encourage them to take a wellness walk sometime during the day.

These three ideas are merely a few of the many hidden benefits your organization needs to utilize. Purple Ink recognizes the true impact a healthy, productive, and creative staff member can make to a team. If you need help communicating or even uncovering these benefits, reach out to Purple Ink, or feel free to contact me directly at laura@purpleinkllc.com. Together we can educate and implement positive health behaviors amongst your team. Just give it a try!

Laura North
Laura North
Laura is an HR Consultant at Purple Ink. She thrives for all levels of employees to understand and truly utilize their benefits to the fullest potential.

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