Abby Russell is a workplace wellness consultant at Rosenfeld Einstein, a Greenville-based insurance agency, brokerage and consulting firm, and a LiveWell Greenville At Work lead facilitator.
Should your company apply for LiveWell’s 2014 Healthy Workplace Award?
The Healthy Workplace Awards will recognize and celebrate Greenville’s healthiest organizations, but there are other benefits that can be derived from applying for the award, even when your company may not meet the requirements to earn an award.
Any comprehensive wellness award application will take some time, but it will also provide a high-level view of your current wellness program, and assist in exploring opportunities for growth and improvement of your program. Your results – and even the application process itself – can be beneficial in obtaining support for growth and developing a stronger foundation.
Completing the application process encourages you to take an objective look at each facet of your organization’s wellness initiative, and analyze the planning and structure of each. The application may even open your eyes to current offerings that cross over into the wellness arena and already support your workplace wellness efforts.
After completing the application, create a list of specific areas in which you saw an opportunity to expand or improve, then indicate the potential benefits and impact for such additions. Present this list as an action plan – along with a timeline and potential budget – to your management team. This program review and action plan will greatly aid in the success of your wellness program, and can have a great impact on your organization overall.
Using any wellness award program as a benchmarking tool for your organization can be very powerful. To further obtain support and buy-in, compare your results to similar organizations’ award achievements. It is important to consider differences in size, region and industry as you compare, although some award programs will benchmark your results to similar sized organizations or by region.
In addition, applying for an award over multiple years will help track your progress and improvements. Award achievement and recognition could also positively impact your organization’s recruiting and retention efforts. Organizations with strong wellness programs and a healthy culture tend to attract and retain quality candidates; so consider advertising and promoting any award achievements.
Lastly, if the award program offers an award celebration or presentation, strongly consider attending the presentation. Encourage members of your wellness committee and top management to attend as well. Many award programs highlight each award winner’s initiatives or most successful programs, so it could be a learning experience as you hear about other successes. This is also a good time to network with other organizations that are excelling in the administration of their workplace wellness programs, and this also lends the opportunity to learn from other’s experiences.
LiveWell Greenville’s At Work group initiated the Healthy Workplace Awards for Greenville County businesses last year. The current application consists of a 76-question application, and a few minimum criteria and submissions must be met in order to be eligible for a bronze, silver or gold award. The scoring system is set up to take the size of each applying organization into account.
The scope of the award mirrors the LiveWell At Work Toolkit, and the categories, scoring and benchmarking were formed with the help of the academic, medical, wellness and business communities. These professionals include Ph.D.s, M.D.s, CEOs and HR directors, as well as health and wellness professionals throughout the Southeast.
The minimum criteria to be eligible for an award are:
1. Program in place for minimum of 18 months.
2: Senior management commitment to a workplace wellness program, requires letter of commitment.
3. Functioning workplace wellness committee that meets at least twice per year.
4. A guiding document or action plan must be submitted.
5. A dedicated workplace wellness budget must be established.
6. 10 percent employee participation on average in workplace wellness initiatives.
7. Workplace must have a tobacco policy that limits the use of tobacco at the workplace.
LiveWell Greenville provides an executive summary to all award winners. This executive summary is an analysis of their program’s strengths and weaknesses, and highlights opportunities for improvement in their workplace wellness program. The executive summary is complete with links to resources including direct references to LiveWell Greenville’s At Work Toolkit.
The deadline to apply is March 14.