Healthy employees, healthy bottom line (Web Sight)

Hershey’s ‘Fit for Life’ • Case studies in health and wellness • Connecting health to work-life conflict • Wellness gone to the dogs?

Organizations that have tried everything to control rising benefits costs are realizing one option is to introduce wellness and health promotion programs. The following sites look at health and wellness issues, and some initiatives offered by notable Canadian companies.

Hershey’s ‘Fit for Life’

This presentation is also found on the CLBC website. It was presented at the Workplace Health Works conference in Halifax in late 2003. It provides an interesting glance at Hershey Canada’s “Fit for Life” worksite wellness program and outlines the objectives and methods of a number of the individual initiatives that support the program. Some of these initiatives include a health fair, a wellness fair, a weight management program, a smoking cessation program, a fitness program and more. The presentation also covers results of the current programs and mentions future initiatives. Well worth taking a look at, though you will need PowerPoint to view the presentation.

Case studies in health and wellness

The Canadian Labour and Business Centre (CLBC) offers this report on health and wellness initiatives on its website. It is a key summary of 12 case studies covering the health and wellness initiatives of Canadian companies, including Irving Paper, Dofasco, American Express Canada, Petro Canada, Burrard Products Terminal, City of Regina Transit Department, Seven Oaks General Hospital in Winnipeg, and more from coast to coast. The report features initiatives that affect the physical environment, the social environment and health practices. It also looks at each organization’s motivation for introducing the initiatives, the role of managers and workers in developing and maintaining the initiatives, the link to the business strategy and the impact on employee health and workplace performance. “The resulting research, therefore, sought not just to document the wellness initiatives themselves, but to situate them within the workplace and clarify their contribution to the organization’s overall culture and performance.”

Connecting health to work-life conflict

This report series, found on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website, is a valuable resource on all aspects of work-life conflict. These reports examine results from the 2001 National Work-Life Conflict Study, which looks at the extent to which work-life conflict affects employees and employers. The study also seeks to increase general knowledge in the area of work-life conflict and suggest strategies organizations can use to help employees cope. The report series consists of six reports (the final three are yet to come), each focusing on a different aspect of the work-life conflict phenomenon. Each report is quite lengthy, but the information makes it worth the scrolling. They are all available as both HTML documents and PDF files.

Wellness gone to the dogs?

An older article, from the archives of the Canadian Healthcare Manager website, profiles Clearnet (now Telus Mobility) and its unique approach to employee health and wellness. As part of this holistic approach, employees walk down to the nearby animal shelter to pet and walk the furry, four-footed inmates. “The animals love the human interaction and the team is given a leash and a scoopy bag…As they return to the office, they benefit from another 10-minute walk for exercise.” It’s a win-win situation. The article also delves into some of the more serious details of health and wellness in the workplace and talks with benefits consultants about what still needs to be done.

Shannon Simson is Canadian HR Reporter’s resource editor. Her Web Sight column appears regularly in the CloseUp section.

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