Our sustainability advisors know Portland businesses take pride in supporting our local community and their employees, and that you’re hungry for more ways to contribute. Sustainability at Work invited Elizabeth Barth of Multnomah County’s Community Wellness & Prevention Program to share information about a great local resource that’s free to participate in.
The business case for investing in employee wellness
Most adults spend over half of their waking hours at work, which makes worksites important for encouraging and supporting healthy lifestyles.
- It’s a great way to attract employees, which can reduce the cost of recruiting and hiring.
- It helps employees feel their best, which boosts productivity, and reduces sick time.
- It lets employees know their employer cares about them, which increases job satisfaction.
How to make your work environment the best it can be
Healthy worksites are those that encourage health and wellbeing as part of the organizational culture. Employers can encourage this culture through policies, workplace guidelines, and simply by making is easy to be healthy while at work. Examples include:
- Set up healthy vending machine and catering policies.
- Provide healthy snacks.
- Encourage staff to take the stairs, or get away from their desk for short walk breaks.
- Provide private space for breastfeeding moms.
- Set up a tobacco-free workplace policy.
Resources & assistance
The Multnomah County Health Department’s Healthy Worksites Initiative provides free assistance to companies that want to make healthy changes at work, which includes:
- Tailored guidance based on a company’s strengths, needs, and individual culture.
- Examples of what works and what other organizations have done.
- Materials, such as Healthy Meetings and break room supplies.
- Stairwell signs, breastfeeding signs, and worksite wellness posters.
Even seemingly small worksite changes can add up to big results! Every step in the direction of wellness can make a difference. It takes each of us working together to support healthy workplaces and a healthy workforce.
Organizations that want to start or improve healthy worksite efforts are eligible for free resources, while supplies last.
If you’re not sure where to begin, take this online assessment to get started. You’ll be introduced to a variety of policies and programs, and see where your organization might have some critical opportunities.