3. Identify Worksite Wellness Strategies

Once the assessments are completed, use the information gathered to identify one or more strategies to promote employee wellness. An integrated approach to choosing strategies is recommended. This means looking at strategies that can impact multiple outcomes at once, and considering changes that impact overall culture, instead of just focusing on any one topic or event. The Vermont Department of Health recommends looking at six core outcome areas, and considering strategies that can impact multiple areas and work towards a healthier culture at your workplace. It is especially effective to integrate workplace safety efforts with your wellness initiative. The Harvard Center for Work, Health, and Wellbeing has several resources on an integrated approach to worker health. 

After identifying strategies, develop an implementation plan that includes:

SIX CORE OUTCOMES FOR HEALTHY WORKSITES

1. Promote healthy food choices at the workplace

RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES:

  • Create healthy food and beverage policies for meetings.
  • Provide refrigerators, microwaves and break areas.
  • Provide access to free water available throughout the day.
  • Support healthy choices from vending machines and cafeterias by:
    • Use competitive pricing to make healthier choices more economical in vending machines or cafeterias.
    • Implement healthy vending machine and cafeteria standards to increase the percentage of healthy options that are available.
    • Use signs or symbols to make healthy choices stand out, and make nutrition information available for foods and beverages.
  • Provide incentives for participating in nutrition and/or weight management activities.
  • Include employee’s family members in campaigns that promote healthy nutrition.
  • Support local food initiatives:
    • Offer an on-site Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
    • Organize a worksite garden.
    • Provide local food in the cafeteria.
    • Consider subsidizing or discounting a CSA program.

RELATED RESOURCES:

For more information, download the Outcome One section of the toolkit! 

2. Go tobacco-free

RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES:

  • Create a property-wide tobacco-free policy and make sure employees are aware it exists.
  • Support tobacco cessation efforts:
    • Promote free quit resources through 802Quits.
    • Establish a policy that allows employees to access smoking cessation support during the work day (for example, supporting flextime to attend a support class).
    • Provide an on-site group cessation class.
    • Ensure that tobacco cessation counseling and medication are offered through the organization’s health insurance.

RELATED RESOURCES:

For more information, download the Outcome Two section of the toolkit! 

3. Help employees get daily physical activity

RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES:

  • Implement policies that allow employees to be active during the day (for example flextime, using paid time for physical activty).
  • Support physical activity breaks and active meetings such as walking meetings.
  • Provide on-site bike racks in safe and convenient locations.
  • Incentivize active commuting to work through biking, walking, rolling, or using public transit.
  • Use signs, prompts and inviting stairwells to encourage the use of stairs.
  • Provide maps of trails or walking paths in the area.
  • Provide an on-site fitness space or discount memberships at local gyms.
  • Offer on-site fitness opportunities such as group glasses.
  • Provide showers, locker rooms, inviting stairwells and walking paths.
  • Provide incentives for participating in physical activity or weight management activities.
  • Include family members in activities that promote physical activity like wellness challenges.  

RELATED RESOURCES:

  •  Go! Vermont – Promoting active and green commuting at the workplace

For more information, download the Outcome Three section of the toolkit! 

4. Become a breastfeeding-friendly workplace

Breastfeeding employees who are returning to work outside the home need appropriate space and adequate time to express breastmilk. This right is protected by Vermont law. 

Video: Pregnancy-Related Workplace Accommodations for Vermont Employers

Video: Pregnancy-Related Workplace Accommodations for Vermont Employees

RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES:

  • Establish a written policy that states your company’s support of a women’s choice to breastfeed.
  • Allow the use of flexible time and breaks for expressing breastmilk.
  • Provide a clean, private space (that is not a bathroom) for expressing breast milk.
  • Provide lactation education through flyers, classes, or other venues.

RELATED RESOURCES:

For Employers

For Employees

For more information, download the Outcome Four section of the toolkit! 

Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Project

The Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Project recognizes Vermont worksites that provide accommodations for breastfeeding employees returning to work.

Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Application

The Breastfeeding-Friendly Employer Project was created as a result of recommendations by the Breastfeeding Study Commission, established by the Vermont Legislature in 2000.

The project is supported by the Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and the Vermont Departments of Health, Economic Development, and Personnel.

Breastfeeding Friendly Employers by County in Vermont

For more information on the Breastfeeding Friendly Project, contact the Maternal and Child Health Division:
Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry Street, P.O. Box 70 Burlington, VT 05402-0070
802-652-4177
 

5. Promote preventative care and safety

RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES:

  • Use educational flyers, emails, or other venues to share about the importance of preventative care including cancer screenings, oral health, asthma management, and staying up to date on adult vaccinations.
    • Promote cancer screenings at the workplace with national awareness months.
    • Promote free or low-cost screening services for under or un-insured female workers through the Ladies First Program.
    • Promote oral health, including dental cleanings and reducing sugary drink and food consumption.
    • Provide on-site education on cancer screenings, asthma management, hypertension and diabetes prevention and management, and oral health.  
  • Request a free, no penalty Project WorkSAFE consultation at your facility to help identify asthma problem areas and solutions.
  • Offer flu vaccination clinics on-site or post information on area flu clinics for the public.
  • Encourage employees to stay home when sick.
  • Allow employees to use sick leave to access preventative care.
  • Request a free, confidential, no-penalty Project WorkSAFE consultation at your facility to identify hazards and receive assistance in improving safety.
  • Offer ergonomic assessments to employees to ensure a workspace that reduces risk of injury and chronic pain.
  • Educate employees on state laws and best practices related to safe driving and develop workplace policies regarding seatbelts and mobile devices when using a vehicle of work purposes.
  • Keep routes of travel and storage areas clear of obstructions and clutter; ensure that all travel areas accomodate wheelchairs.

RELATED RESOURCES:

For more information, download parts 1 and 2 of the Outcome Five section of the toolkit! 

6. Support the emotional wellbeing of employees

RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES:

  • Have a policy that supports employees who have mental health issues, including leaves of absence and plans for returning to work.
  • Have a policy addressing the use of alcohol and substances at work and all work-related functions.
  • Provide training for supervisors on recognizing and responding to performance issues that may signal distress.
  • Provide orientation for employees on workplace policies and support for mental health and substance use recovery.
  • Provide stress-reduction activities at the workplace.
  • Ensure that all employees are welcomed and included in workplace activities and wellness programs, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, or ethnicity.
  • Provide education to employees on mental health and substance use through:
    • Health messages
    • Screenings
    • On-site classes or clinics 
  • Provide employees with a list of local resources on mental health and substance use support in your area.
  • Provide access to an Employee Assistance Program.
  • Allow employees to access support services during working hours.
  • Promote responsible drinking at any work-related events where alcohol is present.
  • Have resources available on financial wellness or consider offering a financial wellness workshop on-site.

RELATED RESOURCES:

For more information, download the Outcome Six section of the toolkit!