A Healthy Company has 4 main Pillars of Wellness
This pillar includes resources from Victoria Healthcare for checking and monitoring the clinical health of the individual employee. This is the annual check-up and also close and quick attention to illness
2. Built Environment:
Audit the workplace built environment and develop an ongoing action plan to optimize relaxing and natural environmental conditions to promote overall employee satisfaction and well-being. This includes lighting, airflow, workplace design and “green” attributes
3. Physical Well-Being:
Physical fitness programs at the workplace and outside work build fitness, the number one key to best health. Monitoring can be done using wearables. Employees receive education on proper nutrition and integrating this into the workplace.
Other programs such Smoking cessation and stress reduction are offered as well.
4. Mental Well-Being:
We also focus on stress management, work/life harmony and dealing with conflict. We measure an overall “Happiness Index” for the organization and the individuals. Then this can be monitored through the program.
Each company needs a Wellness Champion – someone in the company who is committed to and believes in fitness. They receive training for their key role in maintaining, refreshing, and activating the Healthy Company program among the individuals and departments.
A key success factor will be the Champion or (through the Champion) forming groups that monitor progress and provide targeted feedback along the journey.
An initial well-check forms the basis for the individual employee program. This incorporates the clinical check-up, and goes beyond with a Happiness check, fitness check, and an audit of the Built environment. We help the individual set goals and track them, also a role of the Champion.
Tracking these results will then be used to measure the effectiveness of the programs, both for the individual and for the organization. The individual can monitor themselves through wearables, through feedback using surveys or directly at various points throughout the program.
Targets are developed in conjunction with the Champions and the employees encouraged in various ways to become engaged in the process.
The Keys to Success are the Champion’s effectiveness with the employees and with Victoria’s input and guidance.
Healthcare on the Shop Floor
Health serves business. Health aids business. Health means business. Health IS business.
A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. In the USA, some 80% of companies have employee wellness plans because it is both the right thing to do and it is good business. This is sensible: ROI on wellness programs is about 3:1 because of reductions in absenteeism, staff turn-over, and stress reduction. For example, Johnson & Johnson’s wellness programs over 3 decades has increased productivity, employee health outcomes, and thus created savings of millions of dollars.
As Viet Nam’s businesses move past the “middle-income trap”, the labor force is already shifting to more skilled and high-value. In our companies our workers are no longer commodities: they are not only our fellow humans but also human capital that must be properly maintained.
The yearly check-up should not be the main focus for employee health. Lack of attention to health leads to a less productive workforce. So, it falls to senior leadership to address the link between employee wellness and productivity.
Each company must carefully weigh the costs and benefits of a workforce that is more productive, has less absenteeism, and feels cared for and thus stays loyal. If our workers are a valuable asset for our success, they must be cared for. And nothing is more basic than safety and health.
So, your leadership has determined that employee wellness is a benefit for the company. So, what makes a good wellness program? Now what?
(how to be a “Good Do-Bee” ):
1. Carefully and thoughtfully plan a program. Use a healthcare team, consultant, or organization (in or outside house) for expertise in designing it uniquely to your company’s workforce.
2. Careful and sustained explanations of the program. Clarity and full ongoing awareness in your workforce must be established and maintained.
3. Build a “healthy culture”. Commitment to health as a part of being a good employee – and employer. Competition between various departments for attaining health goals is one technique that is often successful.
4. Resources available. Availability of programs and outlets for exercise and nutritional advice, and support for addressing smoking, addictions, diabetes, injuries, alcohol abuse, bad dietary habits, etc.
5. Track carefully. Wellness is sustained, rather than episodic. “Wearables” such as Fitbit and Apple watch linked to an app that has health tracking and advice, is helpful.
6. (Most important): Strong and sustained commitment of company leadership. That the leaders and company culture value health inspires employees. A Champion or Champion Team is critical to keep focus and momentum.
Each company needs a custom-tailored program that is shared but also specific and meaningful to the individual. But common components might include:
1. Health screen. This is already mandated yearly, but in Viet Nam, the extent may only address fitness for work. A true health check-up also offers an individual assessment of current state of the employee’s overall health.
2. Health risk assessment. An add-on to #1: not only highlights areas that need attention but focuses the employee more on his/her own health prospectively.
3. Action Plan. What are the individual’s goals, in light of #1 and 2? What are the benchmarks and timeline?
4. Availability of resources. Easy access to gyms, nutritional guidance, addiction, alcohol, smoking programs, etc.
5. Health and wellness education. For many, their concept of health may be limited to “where do I go if I get real sick?”. They may need better education in what good health and wellness entails and how to integrate it into their own and their families’ lives.
6. Focus on the Family. The importance of good health to one’s family is an important “convincer”.
7. Specific needs. Does a man want more stamina? Is a woman preparing her body for a pregnancy? Each assessment and plan should be individually tailored
If this looks intimidating, it is actually quite easy with guidance, support and commitment. Employee wellness and health is a real benefit to your company – and yourself.
Here’s to your health – and your company.
Mason Cobb, MD
Certified in Age Management- Wellness from USA.