Worksite wellness in progress: Part one

Affordable online workplace wellness resources benefit employers and employees.

Employers recognize that employee health impacts their bottom line and this has generated increased interest in worksite wellness programs. Over 50 percent of US employers offer some type of worksite health promotion program and these employers employ over 75 percent of the American workforce according to the 2013 RAND report. Employers are looking to wellness programs to contain the rising health care costs of an aging, sedentary American workforce and the need to entice and retain talented employees in competitive hiring markets such as technology. 

The structure of each worksite wellness program varies but the successful ones have these components in common:

  • Leadership participation
  • Clear communication
  • Employee input and inclusion
  • Utilization of existing resources
  • Ongoing evaluation and quality improvement

There are many reputable worksite wellness providers for employers to hire who can assist internal employee wellness committees in tailoring a program and incorporating the above components of a successful wellness program. The Designing Healthy Environments at Work has a link to Michigan wellness providers who offer local, state and national wellness programs. The provider’s contact information and references are given so employers are able to choose the best worksite wellness provider for their workplace.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers Michigan resources for Michigan employers. The Michigan Health & Wellness Businesses & Health website contains resources for successful wellness program implementation. The Designing Healthy Environments at Work assessment tool takes Michigan employers through an assessment that identifies existing supportive policies and programs and provides tools to create an action plan, document progress, collect employee interests and assess employee satisfaction.

Michigan State University Extension is expanding its worksite wellness offerings in response to the growing interest for such programs by Michigan employers. Michigan State University Extension educators are prepared to offer numerous workshops to employees based on their needs and interests. We also have a certified master trainer prepared to train employers on the comprehensive CDC Work@Health program. Additional worksite wellness resources and services will be released in 2016. Visit the Worksite Wellness resource page for updates and new programs.

Want to make changes toward a healthier lifestyle, such as getting more exercise or eating healthier? Michigan State University Extension offers many health and nutrition workshops throughout Michigan. Visit Events on the MSU Extension website and choose your county for a list of workshops near you.

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