Absence Matters: Safety and Wellness Integration

Tasha Patterson@Work

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Practical Strategies and Tips to Integrate Your Safety and Wellness Programs

By Bryon Bass

SVP Workforce Absence
Sedgwick

Most companies will readily proclaim that employees are the backbone of their organization and success. They take strong measures to provide safe and effective workplaces. In addition to safety training and education, leading employers today must also promote good health and well-being at the workplace. This approach allows seamless integration of safety and wellness programs that can lead to higher levels of productivity, lower healthcare costs, and improved quality of life for many employee populations. Whether an employer is planning an integrated program or has already implemented one, there are some key components and practical strategies to consider.

Conduct employee needs assessments. Because no two employee populations are alike, organizations should conduct individual employee needs assessments. The resulting data can help discern employee health and associated risks and build programs around key needs. Employees with good health may enjoy participating in incentive programs to increase exercise through company-sponsored walks and races or recreational sports such as with softball or bowling teams. Higher-risk employees can benefit from working with a company-sponsored health coach, weight-loss classes, or smoking cessation programs. Programs can be designed to help employees manage chronic conditions and adhere to their treatment plans. The right mix of programs and tactics will depend on the particular needs of a given employee population.

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