One small company that inspired us is IBI Data (www.ibidata.com) in Brownsdale, MN. A business of approximately fifty-five employees is using creative and cost effective means to promote wellness and build community within the company.
The efforts at IBI Data are rooted in three components that increase the likelihood of successfully engaging employees in workplace wellness:
1. Employers who are innovative thinkers, have commitment to overall wellness, and understand it will take time to see the ROI (return on investment).
2. A champion employee(s) who facilitate the development of a work environment that values health and can build a sense of community with coworkers.
3. Employees who are willing to try new thinking and activities.
IBI Data has the needed ingredients in owner Katherine Harte, programmer Sherry Anderson, and a workforce that experiences low turnover and functions as a community. Sherry volunteers as the wellness committee coordinator but is quick to state that the owner’s commitment to healthy living and willingness to think outside the box as well as the support from co-workers makes organizing wellness efforts at IBI Data a whole lot easier.
IBI Data has been practical and frugal in promoting well living. That’s encouraging for businesses with limited financial resources.
·Small corner dedicated to exercise equipment that can be easily accessed during a 15-minute break with a donated Wii system near where a Just Dance challenge can occur between coworker during lunch.
·Health risk assessments (HRA) was offered last year to all workers, an opportunity to confidentially assess their overall health through a questionnaire, fasting blood draw to test cholesterol and blood sugar levels and opportunity to have blood pressure taken. This voluntarily offer to employees had a 80% rate of participation! The success of involvement was primarily founded on coworkers encouraging one another and self-motivation to be healthier.
·Workplace wellness events such as the current event, a pound for pound challenge. At no cost to the company, employees are motivated to shed pounds so they can donate food to a local food shelf in the amount of the pounds lost. Last year as a group 80 pounds were lost and 80 pounds of food donated.
Simple wellness efforts in the workplace can offer a sense of community and potentially impact the cost of health care regardless of the size of the business. This company has found balance in not taking choices away but providing opportunities to have a choice that encourages well living in the workplace!
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