Worksite Wellness

Why Worksite Wellness at your business?

The worksite is an excellent place to develop a positive wellness environment. The sense of community already exists among co-workers. The benefits of a worksite wellness program go beyond the improvement of personal health and the containment of health care costs. Employees see such a program as an added benefit which can significantly improve morale and retention. The healthier and more fit an employee the better able to do his or her job with fewer injuries and fewer absences.

Why should a company offer a worksite wellness programs?

  • Reduced Absenteeism and Presenteeism
  • Reduced Use Of Health Related Benefits
  • Reduce Employees’ Personal Health Care Costs
  • Reduced Worker's Comp/Disability
  • Increased Morale, Loyalty and Job Satisfaction
  • Lower Health Care Costs
  • Higher Productivity
  • Great Retention Tool
  • Reduced Injuries
  • Enhance Business ReputationAnd Customer Loyalty

Key Components of a Successful Worksite Wellness Program:

  • Strong Management Support
  • Wellness team with strong leadership that meets regularly, is visible, communicates regularly, has agendas and meeting minutes
  • Collects and uses data to drive initiatives
  • Written work plans that includes goals, objectives, strategies, timelines, budgets and evaluation components
  • Supportive health promoting environments and policies

What HealthySV can do for you!

HealthySV's wellness program can assist and support you in developing a wellness program to meet the needs of your employees. We can...
  • Assist you with a wellness program, practice, and policy assessment utilizing the free online tool - Healthy Maine Works!
  • Assist you in developing a Worksite Wellness action plan
  • Serve as a consultant and/or resource for your Worksite Wellness committee
  • Assist you with wellness policy development
  • Provide you free health and wellness educational resources and information
  • Connect your worksite with local resources 
For more information please contact HealthySV.

A coordinated, systematic, integrated and comprehensive approach to building a healthy business with healthy employees requires a deliberate process. This process results in a planned, organized, and comprehensive set of programs, policies, benefits, and environmental supports all designed to meet the needs of both employees and the business.

This approach typically emphasizes four main practices:

1. Assessment - Conducting an organization-wide assessment to identify and describe employee and organization strengths, risks and concerns is critical. Also included in this assessment is the identification and description of currently available resources and tools. An assessment should aim to capture a picture of the many factors that influence employee and organizational health including: individual level factors such as lifestyle choices, the work environment (e.g., physical working conditions and social support), and the organizational level (e.g., culture, policies, and practices).

2. Planning - A planning process is undertaken to develop a plan for how to best utilize the information gained from the assessment. The plan should include goal determination; selecting priority interventions; and building an organizational infrastructure

3. Programming/Intervention Implementation - Implementation involves all the steps needed to put the strategies, programming and interventions into place per the plan created.

4. Evaluation - An evaluation systematically investigates the merit (e.g., quality), worth (e.g., effectiveness), and significance (e.g., importance) of the programming and interventions utilized.

Skip one of these practices at your own peril.

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.

At the time I am writing this column, the state budget is still a work in progress so funding for the future work of the Healthy Maine Partnerships remains unknown. If the worst case scenario plays out and this turns out to be my last column, I wish you to know that is has been my privilege and pleasure to share my thinking with you regarding worksite wellness and employee health. 

Did you know that in terms of Maine’s county health rankings, Somerset County came in last – 16th of the 16 counties? 

The rankings are designed to help counties understand the influencers of resident health and how long residents will live. The county rankings are based on measurements of future health. The health outcomes data is equally divided between length of life and the quality of life.

The health factors considered include:
  • Social and economic factors accounting for 40%
  • Health behaviors accounting for 30%
  • Clinical care accounting for 20%
  • Physical environment accounting for 10%
Here are the specific rankings for Somerset County:
  • Overall Health Outcomes – 16th
  • Overall Health Factors – 15th 
  • Length of Life – 14th
  • Quality of Life – 16th
  • Health Behaviors – 16th
  • Clinical Care – 13th
  • Social and Economic Factors – 14th
  • Physical Environment – 14th
The 2015 County Health Rankings are provided by the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

These numbers would suggest that there is much work still to be done by communities, employers and 
individuals to improve the health outcomes of the residents of Somerset County.

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.
Probably to no one’s surprise, the field of worksite wellness is evolving. Increasing attention is being paid to the role of the workplace environment (including workplace climate and culture) as it relates to employee health. Greater attention is also being paid to the fact that employee wellness is about more than just physical health.

As a construct, wellness was conceived and designed to be holistic and multi-dimensional. The other wellness dimensions or elements experiencing increased attention include: the social, emotional, intellectual and occupational dimensions. As a worksite wellness practitioner and leader, I welcome these changes.

This new evolution of wellness has yet to be identified by a name that sticks. Some are calling it Wellbeing, while others are calling it Wellness 2.0. I recently attended a Webinar promoting Wellness 2.0. I was very disappointed by the presentation. Much of what the presenter delivered was a rehash of Wellness 1.0 (worksite wellness as it is being delivered today). In response to my question, the presenter essentially stated that the difference between Wellness 1.0 and Wellness 2.0 was increased attention being paid to employee communication strategies.

I couldn’t disagree more. Based on what I understand to this point, here is my take on the difference.  Today’s worksite wellness (Wellness 1.0) is about employee health status. Wellbeing or Wellness 2.0 is about employee and organizational thriving.  I believe that as individuals, we all want to thrive and be part of thriving environments (community, workplace and family).

What does thriving mean to you personally?

What does thriving mean in your community, business, organization or workplace?

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.
Increasingly, I am seeing the term wellbeing used in relation to a number of different settings, including the workplace. Wellbeing appears to be a term that is coming into vogue. But just what is wellbeing?

Just like health and wellness, wellbeing is one of those words for which one common definition is elusive. As with health and wellness, wellbeing is personal in nature, therefore in the eye of the beholder. 

Most of what I have seen written about wellbeing is descriptive, rather than definitional. Also like health and wellness, wellbeing is described as being multi-dimensional or having multiple components. While the nature and number of the dimensions or components vary by author or researcher, the list typically includes:
  •  Health
  •  Physical Security
  •  Money or Income
  •  Material Resources
  •  Opportunity Structures
  •  Purposes and Projects Greater Than Oneself
  •  Family and Social Relationships
  •  Fairness and Dignity
Wellbeing is not only personal, it is contextual. Wellbeing is what the individual themself values and finds meaningful. Wellbeing also reflects the many different interactions that occur between the dimensions or components, which will vary by context.

Researchers have determined that wellbeing revolves around four overarching values:

1. Meaningful Work
2. Leisure
3. Money
4. Security

Wellbeing arises when these four values are balanced to the individual’s satisfaction as a result of their personal choices. As might be expected, these four values carry different weights at different points in time during the individual’s life span. 

Taking into consideration the fact that wellbeing is personal, value laden and contextual makes it a challenging, but not impossible concept and construct to implement in the workplace.

Now that wellbeing is gaining traction, are you and your organization ready?

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.
Employee engagement at work is a function of the employee experience. Employee support plays a huge role in the employee experience. Far too often though, we think of employee support only in terms of programs and/or other types of initiatives.

A healthy workplace takes a holistic employee wellbeing approach to employee support. Employee wellbeing is reflected by all the dimensions of employee health and wellness working together in support of the employee.

Creating a healthy workplace is an active, on-going process. This process results in both healthy employees and an overall healthy organization. Employee wellbeing is not the result or by-product of any one program, but rather a mindset of overall growth and continuous organizational improvement.

There is a strong connection between the employee’s perception of support and the level of stress they experience. The greater the level of perceived support, the less workplace stress experienced by the  employee. The implementation of healthy workplace initiatives are a form of organizational support. But it is important to remember that any initiative implemented needs to be accompanied by an awareness of how organizational factors and context will impact the initiative. Programs and initiatives do not operate in a vacuum. 

Any workplace health initiative needs to be considered within the context which the organization operates. Organizations that demonstrate a commitment to their employees will, through the Law of Reciprocity, receive commitment (aka engagement) by their employees.

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.
Beginning in late December, extending into early January, our inboxes are flooded with promises that “This is Your Year!.” Newsletters, articles and blog posts are filled with  tips to make this “Your Best Year Ever!”   

Most often by March though, New Year resolutions have gone by the wayside. Even if instead of resolutions you have set some goals, chance are high you are no longer actively pursuing them. Success involves goal setting and goal getting. 

The 5 Keys To Goal Getting Success

Successful goal getters have these are 5 characteristics in common. 

Key #1: Successful goal getters believe in and commit wholeheartedly to their goals.

Key #2: Successful goal getters understand that failure is a natural part of life. They let go of the past so they can fully embrace the future. Goal getters recognize that failure is part of the success process. 

Key #3: Successful goal getters set clear, specific goals aligned with their beliefs, core values and life purpose. Goal getters find they don’t just meet their goals, they are actually bettered by them.

Key #4: Successful goal getters have strong internal motivation. Successful goal getters know their Big Why behind each goal.

Key #5: Goal getters are action takers. 

Goal setting and goal getting complement each other. Apply both to achieve your hopes and dreams. 

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.

At a recent program of the Wellness Council of Maine and the Maine Health Management Coalition, the presenter spoke about the need for the worksite to become a lifeboat for employees trying to survive in today’s less than healthy societal culture. His lifeboat analogy reminded me of my nearly year-long emphasis on how employers might create a workplace Blue Zone.  Recent conversations have occurred that will hopefully result in a Blue Zone initiative being created for the Pittsfield – Newport area.  Now that would be exciting!

The lifeboat analogy also reminds me that we are all in this together. Creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not easy, especially in light of how unsupportive the greater culture is. My understanding of the research and change literature is that successful change involves many elements including awareness, knowledge, skills, psychological components, having the opportunity to practice new skills in a safe environment and having support available. 

The good news is that there are many resources and tools available to you to help make your wellness journey a successful one. In fact, this gives me an idea.  Maybe future columns will address some of the available tools and resources. How would that be?

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.

Have a deep “Why.” Know what your most important why is.

Have a flexible mindset. Remember, there’s no single track to change.

Make a commitment. Commit to a start date. Mark it on your calendar and tell everyone about it. Make this a big deal in your head, so that you’re fully committed. 

Get some accountability and support. Ask your friends and family to hold you accountable.

Understand your triggers. Every habit is triggered by some event. Identify what happened just before the urge was triggered

Know what need the bad habit is meeting. We have bad habits for a reason — they meet some kind of need. Look at what need the habit might be meeting.

Find replacements. For each trigger, find a replacement habit that will meet whatever need the bad habit was meeting.

Have reminders. Establish reminders to do your new habits. 

Don’t give yourself exceptions. Don’t give in to rationalization. Abide by the No Exceptions  rule. 

Learn from your mistakes. Every attempt involves learning. Mistakes can help you improve.

Ask for help. When you are struggling, reach out and ask someone for help.  

Watch the urges, and delay. You will get urges to do your bad habit. Don’t act on them without thinking first.

Be positive. Having the right mindset is everything.

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.
Wellbeing is generally measured on a scale that ranges from languishing to flourishing. In other words, wellbeing ranges from survival to thriving.  

Generally, people who are in survival mode are just getting by. They are often tired, anxious, have feelings of emptiness, and feel that things are piling up on them. Daily life is a challenge, everything is hard and an effort. People who are thriving are productive, safe, happy, creative and living a life that appears to be easy.

Which signs do your employees exhibit – thriving or surviving?  How are you supporting your workers?  What’s your work environment like? Individuals who thrive have excellent emotional and social health.  Physical activity causes brain pleasure centers to be stimulated and leads to feelings of wellbeing - AKA thriving!  Exercise can also be effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Hormones that are activated by exercise are responsible for regulating our mood, appetite, behavior, memory and sleep. Those workers who are just surviving ignore physical activity. Employees who are thriving embrace it.  Thriving employees take the time to get active and don’t make excuses why they can’t fit exercise into their busy routines. Thriving employees recognize the importance of moving and making exercise a way of life.  
To create workplaces that thrive, start thinking about what your workplace can do differently to support your workers. 

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.

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For the past year, I have written extensively in this column about the Blue Zone concept and the 9 lessons learned from the Blue Zone research. Creating an island of personal health and wellness is a concept that fits very nicely with the Blue Zone lessons.  Environmental and social supports are vital to living a healthy living. 

As individuals, our health behavior is influenced by our macro culture. Our unhealthy behaviors and poor health are a direct result of today’s culture, a culture we have created. As an individual, you alone cannot change the macro culture, but you can change your own personal environment or micro culture –a personal island of health and wellness. 

Anyone can create their own island of health and wellness in three steps:
  • Find a reason to change
  • Learn new skills
  • Seek help from others
Reason to Change - The first step in creating your island of health and wellness is to identify your “why.” We do what is important to us. Your “why” is unique and personal to you. 

Learn New Skill - Knowing what you want to change will help you identify what new knowledge and skills you will need to support your new desired behavior.

Seek Help from Others - Our personal environment and who we spend our time with will either help or hinder our change efforts.  Attempting change without support is doomed to failure.  

Start today to create your own personal island of health and wellness.  

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.
The Traditional Way: We have traditionally thought about exercise and physical activity in terms of long sessions of walking, jogging, at the gym or using your home exercise equipment.

While there is nothing wrong with long sessions, long is not how we live today.  Let’s rethink our approach.

Think Small. Think about exercises and activities you can do in as little as 10 minutes.  Think of your exercise or physical activity as a fitness bit instead of a workout.

Think Social. Look for ways to share or to collaborate your fitness bit with others.

Think Distributed. Do your fitness bits throughout the day, distributed among all the other tasks you’re doing.

Think Fun. Do fitness bits that are fun and enjoyable for you.

Think Open. Share what works for you with others. By sharing with others, you may, in return, get some great ideas, methods and even learn from what they are doing.

Think Adaptability. Be fluid with your fitness bits and adapt them to wherever you are and whenever you have the opportunity.

Think Fast. Remove anything that keeps you from doing a fitness and wellness bit right now, or at any moment you want to do it.  Use fitness bits to be active throughout your day.

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.
Traditionally, we have defined success as having two metrics - money and power.  But now there are three…money, power and wellbeing.

On the money front, we see success as having enough money to live the good life, a good life often described as keeping up with the Joneses. Money and the good life are often equated with materialism.

On the power front, the power we most often seek is known as positional power. The power attached to a given managerial or leadership position. While positional power might be the most sought after, leadership expert and teacher John Maxwell describes positional power as being the lowest of the five levels of leadership he describes in his writings and teachings.

And now there is wellbeing. Wellbeing with its four pillars consisting of: our wisdom, our capacity to wonder, bringing joy into our lives, and our capacity to give.

Both employers and employees should both remember that employees are not paid for their stamina.  They are paid for their judgment, and increasingly, for their ideas, their creativity, their ability to innovate, their capacity to add value and their ability and skill at providing WOW customer service. 

To your success: onward, upward and now, don’t forget inward.

Bill McPeck is a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant, Employee Well-Being Strategist, Stress Management Trainer and Wellness Culture Coach.  For help with your employee well-being issues or for questions and comments, contact Bill at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com.