National Workplace Wellness Week: Expand the possibilities

As part of National Workplace Wellness Week, which falls on the first week in April, Compeer Chautauqua encourages local companies and organizations to consider the concept of wellness and how to support employees in positive lifestyle choices. Increased productivity, improved employee health and reduced healthcare costs are some of the most obvious and well-understood benefits of implementing employee wellness programs.

Many companies and organizations have taken the idea of promoting employee wellness from the obvious (like giving extra breaks for a 15 minute walk during the workday) to the sublime, by providing their workers paid time to engage in activities that benefit not only themselves, but have a greater, community-changing impact. One example is participation in walk/run events that support local causes. Innovative programs, not surprisingly often championed by healthcare organizations, are those that go beyond the merely physical health benefits: consider the Community Services Leave Program offered by the Legacy Health System in Portland, Ore.; Employees are provided paid time off to participate in community volunteer projects. According to research the payoff for corporate volunteerism is twofold: employees are happier and more productive as they become more “engaged” with their employer, improve their leadership and interpersonal skills, and greater job satisfaction; Companies enjoy improved employee retention and loyalty, the perception of their commitment to the local community increases, and philanthropy can be an effective tool to reach strategic goals and open new doors to emerging opportunities.

Expanding the concept of employee wellness to include active engagement in the community and providing meaningful opportunities for volunteering can be accomplished.

To learn how your organization can become more engaged in the local community by volunteering, please contact Compeer Chautauqua, a volunteer friendship program providing the healing power of friendship to adults and youth striving for better mental health, sponsored by Southern Tier Environments for Living, at 487-2956.