A Wellness Council is a diverse team of individuals who work to improve the health and well-being of their worksite with simple activities and organizational changes. All it takes is one or two interested people to get the ball rolling. A minimal time commitment (1-2 hours/month) is required, and with ongoing help from Healthy Utah, you can't go wrong! So why would you want to get involved? Read on!
We currently have 47 active wellness councils! Join our growing list today! To learn more about starting your own Wellness Council, and how Healthy Utah can help, please call us at (801)366-7300 or toll free (855)366-7300.
- View and print posters to display at your agency.
Wellness Council Challenge!
The Work Well Challenge will encourage wellness councils across the state of Utah to work on all ten of the Governor's Work Well recommendations through a friendly competition. All of the wellness councils in Utah are encouraged to participate. Financial incentives will be awarded to the top councils at the end of the year. Wellness Councils will have a chance to win up to $2,000!
Each wellness council can earn points by completing a variety of goals throughout the year. The goals are under the categories of wellness, nutrition, physical activity, stress management, and tobacco. Each goal encourages councils to improve their worksites' environment, policies, and programs with different point levels under each category. Councils can work on any level at anytime throughout the year.
We want everyone to get excited about this challenge. Healthy Utah will be sending out updates, new resources, and program information throughout the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com. And remember, this is a competition, so get your game faces on and get to work. Good luck!
Work Well Listserv
We spend most of our waking hours at work, which makes the workplace an important environment for healthy living. Workplace wellness is becoming a more popular topic in the health world, so the Work Well listserv will provide you current information and tips to help you make health a part of your workday. This listserv also provides information for wellness councils.
How to Start:
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following command in the body of the email:
subscribe workwell your name
- You will receive an email prompting you to confirm your subscription by replying "OK".
- An email will be sent notifying you that your subscription to the list has been accepted.
- That's it! You're now subscribed to the list and will receive emails approximately once a week.
To unsubscribe, send a blank email to WORKWELL-signoff-request@LISTSERV.HEALTHYUTAH.ORG
- What is a Wellness Council?
- Why do we need a Wellness Council?
- How do we start a Wellness Council?
- How can Healthy Utah help?
- Who can I contact for more information?
- Are there additional resources available?
Wellness Councils work to improve the health and well-being of both individuals and the organization as a whole. They are typically comprised of employees from all divisions and levels within the organization (management, professionals, administrative support, etc.) to promote ownership of the program at the "grass roots" level, and include representatives with a variety of skills. An average of 1-2 hours per month is invested by each council member, so a small time commitment can bring about big results. Councils create environmental change and implement programs designed to facilitate the improved wellness of employees.
The good news: Healthy Utah's staff members work hard every day to help promote, improve and maintain your health. The bad news: There are more than 55,000 PEHP members who have access to Healthy Utah, and we can't be everywhere, which is why we need your help! Wellness Councils can be part of a local business solution to costly problems such as health care, absenteeism, productivity, and turnover. They can help to improve employee morale and create a vested interest in the agency. Established Wellness Councils provide an organized, systematic business approach to health promotion at the worksite. And here's the best part - your Wellness Council can respond to the specific needs and wants of the employees.
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(Adapted from The Well Workplace Workbook: A Guide to Developing Your Worksite Wellness Program)
First you must decide if health and well-being are important enough to you and your workplace to create a Wellness Council. If so, give us a call and we'll help you get started. Following these next eight steps also will help you start and maintain a successful team.
Don't be frightened off - these steps may seem a bit daunting at first, but we promise they usually aren't as challenging (or time consuming!) as they appear. Keep in mind that Rome wasn't built in a day. And remember, we will be with you each step of the way. These steps can be completed in any order; however, we recommend that you start at the beginning and work your way through each one.
- Step One: Management Support and Participation - One of the most important factors in the success of a Wellness Council is the extent and nature of the support that is given to the Council by senior management. It is difficult for a program to be successful without visible support from the top. Senior management support can come in many different forms, including participation in planning; budget approval; communicating support to all employees; and participating as role models in events.
- Step Two: Integration into Organizational Structure - Integrating health promotion into the organizational structure of your agency will ensure its future and continued success. Wellness Councils are most successful when aligned with the business goals and practices of the agency. Three key components can help you integrate a Wellness Council into your organization: developing a mission and vision, focusing on an overall goal, and cooperating and integrating with other divisions in your agency.
- Step Three: Diverse Representation - By including council members that represent the diversity of your workforce, you'll be better able to anticipate the health needs that are unique to certain groups. You'll also be able to modify or customize program implementation strategies to make programs accessible to all employees, regardless of differences.
- Step Four: Employee and Organizational Needs Assessments - Health promotion through Wellness Councils does work if programs are planned properly and based upon good data. Survey employees about their needs and interests, then build your plan around that information (we even have a survey written and ready to go for you!). You'll also want to look at the physical environment in your workplace to determine if it supports health. Check the lighting, ventilation, temperature, workstation design, noise levels, appeal of work areas, contents of vending machines/cafeterias, office equipment, and safety equipment.
- Step Five: Operating Plan - Developing an operating plan challenges your agency to adopt the Wellness Council and create a legitimacy for the Council within the organization. Your plan should include an overall goal, and clear, measurable objectives.
- Step Six: Employee Feedback and Ownership - When employees know and feel that the Wellness Council is "theirs" they will be more likely to participate and continue involvement. By actively communicating with employees regarding the Council's response to their needs and interests, you are creating a supportive environment for health promotion and behavior change.
- Step Seven: Organizational Policies - Wellness Council duties should be included in performance plans to legitimize and lend credibility to the work being performed by Council members. Your Council should work to implement policies that support employees taking advantage of Wellness Council and other health promotion programs (like Healthy Utah). Other health related policies such as smoking, management policies to reduce stress, and time off for preventive exams should be addressed as well.
- Step Eight: Health Promotion as Part of the Strategic Plan - Inclusion of the Wellness Council in the strategic plan of the agency validates the long-term commitment of the organization to employee health. It also acknowledges commitment to continuous improvement is necessary and desirable if overall goals are to be accomplished. Without this long-term commitment to employee health, employees will be less successful in initiating behavior change and maintaining changes over a long period of time.
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Like we said, we are here to help you every step of the way. Healthy Utah offers a variety of resources to help your Wellness Council succeed.
- Operational: Healthy Utah can assign a staff member to either sit on your council or to act as a liaison for your group. Our experienced staff can help you get started, offer ongoing technical assistance to help you through the process, and suggest ways to improve the health and well-being of your employees.
- Informational: Healthy Utah offers a variety of programs, including weight management, nutrition, stress management, physical activity, and tobacco cessation resources. We have staff members who specialize in each of these areas, ready to offer you assistance. We also have "pre-packaged" programs that are ready for you to implement such as StairWELL, and Eat Smart! Move Smart!.
To learn more about Wellness Councils, how to start one, or how Healthy Utah can help, please call us at (801)366-7300 or toll free at (855)366-7300.
The Well Workplace Workbook, www.welcoa.org
- Management Survey
- Environmental Audit
- Program Planning Matrix
- Health Promotion Costs
- Program Budget Examples
- MyPyramid printable materials including posters
- Team Nutrition Posters
- General Wellness Posters
- WellnessProposals.com Posters
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