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Employee Wellness Programs

Our Human Resources Department staff have initiated a Workplace Wellness program for County employees. Their first step was to survey employees to identify risk status, demographics, workplace culture, and how staff would best like to receive information about the various programs and challenges the Wellness Committee would deliver.

Now that they have decided on the programs they wish to implement, we recognize that communication is critical. To date, they have used email reminders, hallway and break room area posters, informational flyers and, on occasion our corporate website. The latter was used initially to host the online survey that the HR Department created to determine the need and directions for the Wellness Committee.

The online survey was completed by approximately 90+% of our staff. They identified email and online access as preferred methods to receive communication about wellness.

My challenge now is to determine the best way to deliver their content to our staff electronically. While I realize that an Intranet would be the most effective way to reach all of our staff, which is the primary audience, we do not have a corporate Intranet (as yet). Most, but not all, staff have email accounts and access to department conference areas available with our email platform. A blog, would be one idea, but much of the information they wish to deliver is static and no one will “step up to the plate” to provide regular posts.

How does your government agency deliver wellness information to your staff? Can you provide me with sample screen shots?

Any and all ideas, suggestions are most welcome.

Thanking you in advance.
Marian Doucette, County of Huron – IT Division

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Profile Photo Tricia

Besides electronically, mailers to employee’s homes is also effective periodically. Our agency puts out a daily newsletter (“News to Use”) of what is going on — this may be an option. It gets delivered via email and links to our intranet – perhaps you can email yours out.

Profile Photo Nichole Henley

I’m interested in seeing the comments to this blog. We suffer from this very same problem. How to get the word out.
Emails– clogged up and often overlooked.
Posters— there’s a policy for everything and a formal way of creating it..bleck. Not my style.
Word of mouth- lost in translation.

A meeting I went to earlier regarding telework in our command, I was accused of not doing my homework because I didn’t know the policy off the back of my hand. Honestly? Anyhoo, the point I returned to the policy examiner was this: What good is the policy if a) you can’t find it and b) people don’t even know it exists? Seems to me to be a communication problem here not just my problem. 🙂 But anyways, probably TMI but I needed to get this off my chest

Profile Photo Henry Brown

Communications, Communications, Communications.

Emails, interoffice memo’s, “professional” posters are some of the ways that the organizations that I have had some involvement in have gotten the word out about “wellness” programs.

But the most effective way seems to be the direct involvement/support of the the program(s) by the senior organizational management. My last organization, had a rather dormant “wellness” program until the director, at a senior staff meeting mentioned his involvement in the program. One can draw all kinds of conclusions as to why staff involvement went from 2 or 3 percent to well over 50 percent in a very short period of time, The last time I checked back there was still involvement by a significant percentage of folks.

The director of my current organization makes a rather formal effort to mention at least one of the different aspects of the wellness program at the “monthly” meeting. Have heard that over the past 18 months there has been a steady increase in the involvement of all staff, even to some degree the remote workers.

Profile Photo Kristy Dalton

British Columbia has an outstanding Drupal intranet: https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/project-of-the-week-intranet

For much less of a learning curve, you can install WordPress (also free, open source) locally and use as a basic intranet system. Although it has powerful blogging capabilities, you can also use it as a basic CMS for static info. One way to keep content fresh is to find some great ‘wellness tips’ websites and pull in their RSS feeds through a widget. Or, you can use a pre-made Healthfinder.gov widget: http://www.healthfinder.gov/widgets. Dang, that’s a good idea. I think I’ll add that to our intranet tomorrow 🙂

Profile Photo Steve Ressler

I think the key which you are doing is providing the content in multiple formats – from email to blog to physical posters.

It also turns into a game of employee attention. With so much going on, how do you get people’s attention? The actual content is key – whether it is found useful. Also I’d try contests or games as well.

Profile Photo Michaela Holmberg

I agree with Steve that multiple formats is the best option as it’s the way to reach the most people. Have you tried setting up a Wellness twitter account too? That way people can receive text messages for daily wellness tips and updates on events. Knowing that time is limited, you can sign up for your own daily wellness feeds and then just pick which ones you like and retweet them. Sometimes just a motivational tweet in the morning will help remind people the importance of wellness.