Workplace Wellness Information & Resources

Archived Health & Wellness Events

Starting a Workplace Wellness Program
Tip Sheet

The Benefits of Starting a Workplace Wellness Program

A workplace wellness program has many benefits for both employers and their employees. Especially for small employers with limited resources, Chesapeake Employers can show you how to start a workplace wellness program, even if you have a small budget.

Dramatic increases in the cost of health care and insurance as a result of chronic health problems is well documented. But employers should also know that the unhealthy behaviors of their employees can significantly contribute to the costs of workplace injuries.

Injured workers who smoke, are overweight or obese, or have uncontrolled diabetes often have longer recovery times, medical complications, delayed return to work, and, ultimately, increase workers' comp claim costs. In fact, two recent studies by Duke University and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health confirm that obesity is a growing cost driver in workers' compensation injury claims.

A workplace wellness program has many benefits for both employers and their employees.

Employers win with:

  • Increased performance and productivity;

  • Reduced healthcare and insurance costs;

  • Fewer/less costly workplace injuries;

  • Decreased absenteeism;

  • Higher employee morale; and

  • Improved company and workplace image.

Employees win with:

  • Better overall health, both on and off the job;

  • Reduced stress;

  • Increased well-being;

  • Greater job satisfaction; and

  • Greater loyalty to their employer.

Most working Americans spend the majority of their waking hours at work. As a result, today's employers are in an ideal position to provide not only a culture of safety, but also a culture of health and wellness in their workplaces.



The 10 Steps to Starting a Workplace Wellness Program for small businesses

Click: 1. Gain support from senior-level management.
The greater the support your program has from the top, the greater its chance of success. If your CEO regularly works out or participates in bike-a-thons, for example, us him or her as a role model for all employees. Additionally, if your company encourages participation in health and wellness activities during company time have senior management communicate this policy to employees as well as participate in the program. When senior management understands the business case for implementing a workplace wellness program, you've taken the first step to succeeding.

Click: 2. Identify a wellness champion or put together a wellness team or committee to
                lead the new effort.
Your Human Resources and/or Safety staff are ideal candidates to help coordinate and lead your company's efforts in this area. Even better, invite someone from the CEO's office or Executive Management to join your team. HR will have its finger on the pulse of your organization, and those in Finance will be well informed about the company's budgetary requirements and constraints. Also, think about inviting someone who currently smokes or does not exercise regularly to join your wellness committee. These employees will provide a unique perspective on how to address specific health behaviors in conjunction with your overall wellness program.

Click: 3. Establish a budget for your wellness program.
A recent CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield study found that the most common wellness programs offered by companies in the Baltimore area included discounted gym memberships and web-based resources for healthy living. Chances are you, too, have some of these programs already in place. Make a list of the resources you already have and work from there. A budget may allow you to offer in-house classes, healthy food options, and other incentives to encourage employees to participate.

Click: 4. Identify the mission and purpose of your wellness program.
Let employees know the company cares about their health and well being. Your wellness committee may even develop a long-term strategic plan that aligns with the mission statement and goals of your program. It is important to communicate the mission statement throughout your organization so employees understand the purpose of the program. Let employees know you encourage, but not mandate, their participation in your new wellness program.

Click: 5. Identify the needs of your employees and your company.
Do a workforce assessment where you look at hard data such as absenteeism, medical claims, prescription usage, demographics, etc. Conduct an employee satisfaction survey or focus group. Or, involve employees in informal conversations about the health and wellness topics most important to them.

Click: 6. Create a supportive environment – a culture of wellness – that promotes
                healthy and safe behaviors.

Many people need the support of others to help them change lifelong habits and establish new, healthier lifestyles. Consider changing workplace behaviors as well:

  • Offer healthy snacks and water or fruit juice at meetings instead of the usual cookies and soft drinks;

  • Install water coolers on each floor to encourage employees to drink lots of water and keep themselves well hydrated;

  • Stock your vending machines with healthy options instead of fat-laden ones;

  • Establish a smoke-free workplace;

  • Offer free or discounted health club memberships to employees;

  • Remind employees to consult with their physicians first before starting an exercise program;

  • Allow employees to use company time to participate in an onsite wellness program; and

  • Ask your employees about other ways in which you can encourage healthy alternatives to their usual workplace behaviors.

Click: 7. Partner with community wellness providers to provide programs for your
                employees.
Local hospitals often have outreach programs that may be willing to come to your office to educate your employees. Also, a new, niche area of business is the small, onsite health and wellness provider that provides onsite training and instruction at a company's workplace. Your local American Heart Association or American Lung Association may be willing to offer an onsite smoking cessation program. Contact Weight Watchers or your local YMCA to see if they offer onsite weight management programs. Check local colleges and universities for such programs as well. Additionally, your area may have a non-profit community health organization to whom you can turn for help. Don't forget to encourage employees to team up for the next "walk-a-thon" or "fun run" in your area; employees can get some exercise while helping out a worthy cause.

Click: 8. Implement your new wellness program.
Communicate to your employees about your company's new health and wellness program. Generate as much excitement for it as you can. Schedule an all-employee meeting, put up flyers, and send out e-mails detailing the new and exciting ways employees can participate. Remember, the exercise program should target the general worker population. Most individuals will tolerate a gradual introduction to stretching and strengthening. Also, educate your employees about the health and wellness benefits available to them that are in addition to the basic medical and/or dental benefits your company offers. Encourage them to take advantage of health risk assessments, for example. Likewise, preventative services, such as cholesterol screenings, may be covered under your health insurance benefits plan.

Click: 9. Include employees' spouses in your wellness program.
For a low-cost way to include spouses and families, consider sending home a wellness program announcement letter or newsletter. Let the family know your organization cares about its employees and encourages a healthy lifestyle at home as well as at work.

Click: 10. Measure the effectiveness of your workplace wellness program, and
                  celebrate and reward your employees' success!

Talk to your employees about the wellness program. See how many signed up for – and attended – your program offerings. Which ones were most popular? What are folks saying about them? Monitor employee satisfaction levels and tweak your program accordingly. Have your CEO personally congratulate those employees who have met a health milestone. Do a story on them in your employee newsletter. Even better, ask the editor to establish a regular "wellness corner," and have someone on the wellness committee contribute to this column regularly. Finally, consider giving employees small monetary rewards, such as gift or gas cards, as a reward or recognition for their efforts. Find novel and exciting ways to celebrate and encourage employees' efforts at getting and staying fit and healthy. The rewards to your organization will be great and long term.

Wellness Strategy


A workplace wellness program can help your employees live and work to their fullest potential, and Chesapeake Employers can help you create an exciting workplace wellness program. For more information on our safety and loss prevention services or to request a personal consultation, contact our Customer Service Center at (410) 494-2000 (1-800-264-4943 outside Baltimore), or Contact Us.


Archived Health & Wellness Events



Health and Wellness banner graphic   6th Annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium
  June 4, 2015


Health and Wellness banner graphic
















 Tom Rath,
 New York Times Best-Selling Author of Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices
 Lead to Big Changes and Are You Fully Charged?
 Fully Charging Your Work and Life - Presentation not available

 m. c. schraefel,
ph.d,
 Professor of Computer Science and Human Performance, U University of Southampton, UK
 From Resilience to Brilliance at Work - Presentation not available


 Stacy Molander
,
 Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Partnership for a Healthier America
 Partnership for a Healthier America:  Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice


Panels:
Engaging the Unengaged Employee

Dr. Jodi Jacobson Frey, Assoc. Professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work;
John Hoey, President & CEO, Y of Central Maryland;
David Lunken, Principal, Cedarcroft Advisors and Senior Consultant at PI Midlantic
Denia Kramer, LCSW-C, Business Health Services;

Health Reform and Changing Healthcare Landscape: Implications for Employers

David Johnson
Vice President and Senior Health Consultant, Sibson Consulting
Dr. Walter Ettinger,
Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, University of Maryland Medical System
Carolyn Quattrocki
,
Executive Director, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange;
Henry Smith, Esq.,
Managing Partner, Smith & Downey
EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAMS – AN OVERVIEW OF LEGAL ISSUES

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  5th Annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium
  June 6, 2014



Critical Role of the CEO in Effective Workplace Wellness Programs

 Patricia M. C. Brown, ESQ.

 United Way of Central Maryland Board of Director Chair
 Senior Vice President, Managed Care and
 Population Health,
 Johns Hopkins Medicine
 President, Johns Hopkins HealthCare LLC
 Senior Counsel, Johns Hopkins Health System

National Worksite Health Initiatives & Perspectives

 Keynote Speaker:
 Jason E. Lang, M.P.H., M.S.
 Team Lead for Workplace Health Programs,
 CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention

Preventing/Managing Co-morbidities in the Workplace

 Dr. Michelle Gourdine,

 CEO, Michelle Gourdine and Associates LLC







Workplace Wellness Best Practicess: Roundtable Discussion
- Audacious Inquiry
- Carroll Hospital Center
- McCormick
- Under Armour

Moderator: Dave Johnson
, Vice President & Senior Health Consultant, Sibson Consulting

Changing Employee Eating Behaviors – A Critical Challenge for US Employers

 Keynote Speaker:
 Brian Wansink
 John Dyson Professor of Consumer Behavior at Cornell
 University and past Executive Director, USDA’s Center
 for Nutrition Policy & Promotion

 Slides not available

Motivating Employees to Be More Healthy

 Carlo C. DiClemente, Ph.D.
 Director, MDQuit Tobacco Resource Center;
 Presidential Research Professor Department of
 Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County





For general information or 2015 Wellness Symposium sponsorship information, please contact: Carolyn Gutermuth at 410-494-2170







 
Archived Health & Wellness Events



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  4th Annual Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium
 
June 7, 2013
  June 7, 2013 Agenda


7:45-8:15

Registration (continental breakfast)

8:15-8:30

Welcome and Motivational Speaker Introduction: Tim Michels, Esq., Chesapeake Employers COO

8:30-9:15 

 Motivational Speaker:
  Chris Crowley, New York Times Best-selling author of
  Younger Next Year  and Thinner This Year

9:15-9:30

Keynote Speaker Introduction: Laura Herrera, MD, MPH, Deputy Secretary for Public Health, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

9:30-10:15

  Keynote Speaker:
  Deputy Surgeon General
  Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H.
  U.S. Public Health Services
  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

10:15-10:30

Break - visit with vendors

10:30-11:15

Partnering with Community Resources
Panel Moderator, Dr. Donald Shell, M.D., MA, Director, Cancer and Chronic Disease Bureau and Acting Director, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, DHMH:
Kira Eyring, American Cancer Society (ACS)
Patty MacEwan, American Heart Association (AHA)
Katherine Rogers, American Diabetes Association (ADA)
Jamie Lamson Sullivan, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Foundation (COPD)


Stretch Break - Well Advantage

11:15-11:45

Workplace Wellness 101: Steps to Create a Successful Wellness Program - Presenter, Jeanne Sherwood, CEO, Well Advantage

11:45-12:15

Employee Testimonials
Panel Moderator, Lynn Berger, EVP, Business Health Services
Ashley Hevey, Claims Adjuster, IWIF
Dean King, Materials Handler, Frederick Memorial Hospital
Katie Welsh, Director of Alumni Relations, Stevenson University
Arnold Crouse, Material Manager, Hub Labels, Inc.

12:15-12:45

Lunch Break (box lunch) & visit with vendors

12:45-1:45

Affordable Care Act & Maryland Health Connection: Importance of Wellness and Impact on Small Businesses
Panel Moderator, Dave Johnson, SVP, RCM&D
Carolyn Quattrocki, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Health
  Care Reform
Rebecca Pearce, Executive Director, Maryland Health Connection
Henry A. Smith III, Smith & Downey P.A

1:45

Close/Drawing

1:45 – 2:00

Visit with Vendors

 




  3rd Annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium
  June 1, 2012
Content

(Format: PDFs slides and WMV Video Clip)

Wellness impact on the economy: Deputy Secretary Frances Phillips, DHMH

Healthy Maryland Week: Beth Blauer, Director of Maryland StateStat

Total Worker Health: Initiative: Anita Schill, PhD, CDC/NIOSH

Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions: Dr. Frederick Brancati, Director, Johns Hopkins Diabetes Prevention & Control | Dr. Donald Shell, Acting Director, Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Prevention, DHMH | Dr. Elijah Saunders, Cardiologist, Univ. of MD Medical Center

Creating Successful Wellness Programs:
Small

Brian Jolles, Jolles Insurance Co. | Judy Kennedy, Vice President, iBiquity Digital Corporation

Medium
Michael Planz, Deputy Director, Community Living Housing and Residential Services
Brenda Balzer, Vice President for Human Resources, Stevenson Univ

Large

Cindy Earle, Coordinator of Community Health Education - Meritus Medical Center, Hagerstown, MD
Neely Stanton, Human Resources Manager, Cianbro Corporation, Mid-Atlantic Region

Government

Patrick Sypolt, Risk Manager, City of Havre de Grace, MD | Todd Allen, Chief Human Resources Officer, Howard County Gov’t. | Susan DeLauter, Human Resources Admin., City of Hagerstown, MD

Healthy Workforce Initiatives in Maryland:
Allison MacKenzie, Client Executive, RCM&D | David Johnson, Senior Vice President RCM&D

Corporate Wellness Pays Big Dividends:
Todd Whitthorne, President, CEO Cooper Wellness

Legal Environment and Considerations: Don Walsh, Esq. – Offit Kurman

Components of Effective Wellness Programs:
Dawn Motovidlak, President & CEO, Business Health Services | Jeanne Sherwood, President & CEO, Well Advantage | Allison Flatley, Chief Operating Officer, L&T Health & Fitness

Selling Wellness to the “C-Suite”: | Andrew Masetti, MidAtlantic Business Group of Health, Board Member | Terry O’Malley, Vice President of Human Resources, Frederick Regional Health System

Additional Program Slide Links

Wellness impact on the economy: Deputy Secretary Frances Phillips, DHMHHealthy Maryland Week: Beth Blauer, Director of Maryland StateStatTotal Worker Health: Initiative: Anita Schill, PhD, CDC/NIOSH
Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions: Dr. Frederick Brancati, Director, Johns Hopkins Diabetes Prevention & Control
Dr. Donald Shell, Acting Director, Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Prevention, DHMHDr. Elijah Saunders, Cardiologist, Univ. of MD Medical Center
Creating Successful Wellness Programs For Small Companies
Brian Jolles, Jolles Insurance Co.
Creating Successful Wellness Programs For 
Small Companies
Judy Kennedy, Vice President, iBiquity Digital CorporationCreating Successful Wellness Programs For 
Medium Companies: Michael Planz, Deputy Director, Community Living Housing and Residential Services
Creating Successful Wellness Programs For 
Medium Companies: Brenda Balzer, Vice President for Human Resources, Stevenson Univ.
Creating Successful Wellness Programs For 
Large Companies: Cindy Earle, Coordinator of Community Health Education - Meritus Medical Center, Hagerstown, MDCreating Successful Wellness Programs For 
Large Companies: Neely Stanton, Human Resources Manager, Cianbro Corporation, Mid-Atlantic Region

Creating Successful Wellness Programs For Government: Patrick Sypolt, Risk Manager, City of Havre de Grace, MDTodd Allen, Chief Human Resources Officer, Howard County Gov’t.Healthy Workforce Initiatives in Maryland:
Allison MacKenzie, Client Executive, RCM&D & David Johnson, Senior Vice President RCM&D
Corporate Wellness Pays Big Dividends: Todd Whitthorne, President, CEO Cooper WellnessLegal Environment and Considerations: Don Walsh, Esq. – Offit KurmanComponents of Effective Wellness Programs:
Dawn Motovidlak, President & CEO, Business Health Services | Jeanne Sherwood, President & CEO, Well Advantage | Allison Flatley, Chief Operating Officer, L&T Health & Fitness
Selling Wellness to the “C-Suite”: | Andrew Masetti, MidAtlantic Business Group of Health, Board Member | Terry O’Malley, Vice President of Human Resources, Frederick Regional Health SystemVideo: Corporate Wellness Pays Big Dividends:
Todd Whitthorne, President, CEO Cooper Wellness

          

                                 


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  Healthcare Environment Safety - Oct. 21, 2011
 

 
























Healthcare Environment Presentations / Agenda

(Format: PDFs)


    Nursing home mechanical lifting equipment study - Pat Gucer, Ph.D. Assistance Professor University of Md School of MedicineWhat is available and new with patient lifting equipment - Colleen Christopher, Regional Clinic Manager, ArjohuntleighReturning injured workers back to work - Adrienne Kaspar, Loss Control supervisor, Chesapeake EmployersImpact of worksite health wellness programs - Joe Gillian, Risk Management Officer, Chesapeake Employers


      
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  Second Annual Maryland Workplace Health &
  Wellness Symposium - June 3, 2011




Health & Wellness graphic


Event Presentations
(Format: PDFs)


8:35 am – 9:30 am  | Keynote Speaker Introduction
Photo  Dr. Richard S. Safeer, Medical Director of Preventive Medicine, CareFirst BlueCross
  BlueShield




Lifestyle Competencies: The Future of Wellness

Photo  Keynote Speaker - Dr. Dexter W. Shurney, Medical Director, Vanderbilt University
  and Medical Center




10:15 am – 11:00 am | 1st Breakout Session

Session ACreating a Workplace Wellness Program for the Private Sector
Photo  Dr. Roger C. Merrill, Chief Medical Officer, Perdue Farms Inc.
  Nicole Bourque, Health Improvement Manager, Perdue Farms, Inc.



Session B
Creating a Workplace Wellness Program for the Non-Profit Sector

PhotoGoodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc. (L-R)
 
Lisa Rusyniak, Chief Operating Officer
  Amy Newman, Vice-President, Human Resources

  Marge Thomas, President & Chief Executive Officer

Session CCreating a Workplace Wellness Program for the Public Sector
Photo  Deirdria Hudnell, Program Administrator for the Board of Education, Prince George's
  Public Schools


11:30 am – 12:15 pm | 2nd Breakout session

Session A Wellness Impact on Employee Health
Photo  Jacqueline Agnew, Ph.D., Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins
  School of Medicine




Session B
Health Issues Adversely Affecting Workers’ Comp Injury/Illness Claims:
Impact of Smoking, Diabetes and Obesity

Photo  Timothy K. Michels, Esq. – Chesapeake Employers Executive Vice President, Claims

 


Session C
Easy To Do Workplace Health & Wellness Programs
(No slides available)
 
Moderator:
Suzanne Thompson, Partner, Landmark Insurance and Financial Group


Panel:
Dawn Motovidlak - President & CEO, Business Health Services
Jeanne Sherwood - President & CEO, Well Advantage
Sue Liebenow - President & CEO, L&T Health and Fitness


12:25 pm – 1:00 pm 
The Legal Environment and Your Wellness Program

Photo  Donald J. Walsh, Esq. - Offitt Kurman




1:00 pm – 1:20 pm 
The Landscape of Health and Wellness Programs in Maryland

Photo  Judith A. Shinogle, Ph.D. – University of Maryland Baltimore County




1:20 pm - 1:45 pm
Workplace Health & Wellness: Best Practices
(No Picture)

Photo  Dr. Craig D. Thorne, Vice President and National Medical Director, Employee Health
  and Wellness, Erickson Living

  Health Assessment Questionnaire

 

          

                                 


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  First Annual Maryland Workplace Wellness
  Symposium - June 8, 2010

Content




Health & Wellness - June 8, 2010


(Format: PDFs, PowerPoint slides)


    Importance of a Healthy Workforce by Secretary John M. ColmersRon Z. Goetzel, Ph.D.- Creating a Workplace Wellness Program – What’s The Return on Investment?Session A – Creating a Workplace Wellness program for Private Sector Employers (Nancy Lesch - CareFirst)

Session B – Creating a Workplace Wellness program for Public Sector Employers (Meg Rothenstein-CareFirst and Deirdria Hudnall - PG Public Schools)The Legal Environment and Your Wellness ProgramHealth Issues Adversely Affecting Workers’ Compensation Injury/Illness Claims: Impact of smoking, diabetes and obesity (Timothy K. Michels, Esq. – Chesapeake Employers)


      
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