With so much time spent at work, there are specific opportunities to improve health: on-site kitchens and eating areas, time for physical activity, and so on. And this pays off. Research shows that for every $1 organizations invest in promoting employee health there is a $3 return.
Dedication to creating a healthy workplace goes a long way for the community, for the organization’s reputation, and for the employees sense of self-worth and loyalty to the municipality.
If your municipality is interested in creating a culture that promotes health in a sustainable way, the Municipal Wellness Program is available for support. The program will provide easy-to-use tools, and resources to help create a healthy workplace. You can work at your own pace, focusing on priorities in your municipality. You’ll also be recognized as a health promoting workplace, through the municipal wellness awards. It’s a great way to position your municipality as a workplace of choice to attract top talent.
Resources to Help Create a Healthy Workplace
Imagine if everyone works in an environment that supports and promotes their health and well-being. A Healthy Workplace is about creating a place where employees and the employers work together and support one another to promote health and well-being.
A Healthy Workplace is One Where Employers:
- Embed health goals into organizational operations and corporate culture.
- Provide an environment and establish work processes to protect and promote physical, psychological, and social health for their employees.
- Work with employees to achieve a common health vision.
- Empower managers and employees to increase control over their own health.
A Healthy Workplace is One Where Employees:
- Have access to opportunities to adopt healthy lifestyle practices.
- Learn and develop personal coping skills to manage stressful situations.
- Enjoy positive working relationships with their colleagues that encourages respect, recognition for their work and a sense of belonging.
- Experience opportunities to become involved in the decision‐making processes and are given opportunities for personal and professional growth.
How Municipalities Can Improve Employee Health:
Municipality's have a unique opportunity to support healthy behaviors by creating safe physical work environments, implementing healthy management practices, providing employees with health resources and creating meaningful community connections. Well designed and effectively implemented workplace health promotion programs can reduce:
- Health benefit costs
- Staff turnover
- Long term disability costs
Become a Wellness Champion
A wellness champion is a municipal employee who work together with the municipal wellness program to improve the health and culture of the workplace. The wellness champions are crucial to how the municipal wellness program information is communicated at the local level.
Wellness champions generally volunteer for this role; it is not part of paid positions. And a municipality can have a handful of champions depending on the municipality size and number of locations.
If you are interested in becoming a wellness champion, contact the Municipal Wellness Program.
Creating a Municipal Workplace Wellness Committee
The Municipal workplace wellness committee is responsible for the identification, design and implementation of activities/programs/policies geared towards improving the health and wellbeing of employees and to create a healthier municipality.
The key areas of responsibility of a workplace wellness committee includes identifying wellness initiatives that fall within the following health promotion strategies:
- Awareness building: initiatives designed to provide information about the benefits of making healthy choices.
- Education and skill building: initiatives designed to enhance knowledge and skills to support healthy choices.
- Creating supportive environments: initiatives designed to create supportive environments that strengthen and enhance healthy behaviors.
- Healthy policy development: The development of policies/guidelines to further enhance and sustain healthy practices.
The Municpal Wellness Program has develop a workplace health and wellness policy to help guide municipalities in creating and sustaining a healthy supportive environment for all employees.
The purpose of this policy is to encourage, support and offer health related programs that will assist employees and elected officials in achieving ownership for their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, resulting in improving the overall health and wellbeing for all employees. A healthy workplace leads to improved satisfaction and moral, which contributes to a more effective workplace.