Sharp HealthCare’s comprehensive employee wellness program, Sharp Best Health, encourages team members to incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyles by helping them reach personal health goals. It offers a variety of resources—from healthy recipes to fitness classes to personalized health coaching—all designed to help employees live their healthiest lives.
One of the most important components in the success of this system-wide program is having strong executive support. Here are six ways your organization can keep team members healthy at work.
Sharp Best Health’s policies encourage a healthy workplace by making it easier to enjoy healthy lifestyle behaviors in the workplace. Examples of workplace policies that support wellness at Sharp include a smoke-free workplace, support of flexible work schedules to allow participation in wellness activities, requiring food vendors to offer healthier selections in cafeterias as well as vending machines, introducing “micro-markets”, which allow sites without a cafeteria to have access to healthy snack and meal options, and support of walking meetings and regular stretching breaks. Corporate locations have also changed their dress code policy to allow for walking shoes every day of the week, encouraging more movement and also limiting the risk of footwear related falls and injuries.
Wellness initiatives and opportunities
Wellness initiatives at a work site are convenient, cost-effective, fun and help employees stay committed to their wellness goals while at work. Sharp Best Health offers employees numerous fitness and nutrition-related initiatives across its seven hospitals and two medical groups. Examples of such initiatives include: mindfulness classes, ongoing fitness classes such as yoga, Zumba and boot camps; free access to Whil, a digital mindfulness and yoga app; on-site massage and acupuncture clinics; walking/step challenges; and a Community Support Agriculture (CSA)-type produce box that can be delivered to the home of employees with a discount exclusive for Sharp employees.
A significant part of any workplace wellness program is employee communication and education and social media is a beneficial way to expand those efforts. Sharp Best Health has a very active online life, with its presence on a blog hosted on Sharp HealthCare’s intranet, multiple café and healthy vending machine navigation videos, an online “Move More Community” which allows employees to earn rewards by being active month to month by sharing their steps via their smartphone or activity tracker. Sharp Best Health even started its own podcast for employees, where the Sharp Best Health team and health experts from both inside and outside Sharp weigh in on a variety of health related topics.
Involvement with the community
Sharp HealthCare actively supports multiple community health events. Its fundraising and recruitment efforts usually make Sharp HealthCare one of the top fundraisers for the American Heart Association Heart Walk, the Tour de Cure and its local YMCA’s Spin-a-thon cycle marathon.
Free employee health screenings
Sharp offers free confidential health screenings to all team members to help them identify any current or future health problems. An average of about 9,000 employees take advantage of this opportunity annually in order to better understand screened in the following indicators: blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, random blood sugar and tobacco use.
Free health coaching to all employees
Sharp Best Health offers personalized health coaching in five different areas: healthy weight management, smoking cessation, healthy eating, physical activity and stress management. Health coaching is a collaborative and confidential wellness program delivered by Sharp Health Plan for all Sharp Healthcare employees. Through the coaching program, participants work one-on-one—over the phone—with a dedicated coach who provides individualized support and guidance in developing the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to reach their best health.