Tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity are three top risk factors leading to early and preventable disease. These risk factors have a major impact on employers by contributing significantly to increased health care costs, absenteeism, lost productivity, and poor employee health and morale. The simple truth is that unhealthy employees are less productive and engaged than their healthier peers. Working Well can help employers develop a strategic plan to impact employee health by focusing on policy, systems, and environmental changes, which are often low or no cost. The goal of Working Well is to help employers create a sustainable culture of wellness around four key pillars by using effective, evidence-based best practices to create worksites where the healthy choice is the easy choice.
In 2011, The Duke Endowment awarded a multi-year grant to SCHA to launch a new initiative called Working Well. Working Well is collaborating with similar initiatives, including those coordinated by Eat Smart, Move More SC and SC DHEC, to capitalize on these resources. SCHA teamed up with the Prevention Partners to support South Carolina hospitals in their efforts to develop and implement wellness policies and work environments that promote better health. Working Well has helped participating hospitals assess, implement and maintain evidence-based and effective policies designed around the four pillars of an effective worksite wellness environment.
Because of the success with SC hospitals, Working Well was chosen as a Healthy SC Initiative best practice strategy, and received funding through the Community Transformation Grant managed by SC DHEC to expand into non-hospital businesses. In 2014, Working Well began collaborating with SC DHEC, the Department of Administration, and the 16 cabinet agencies on the “A Healthier State” initiative to create effective worksite wellness environments and policies within these 18 organizations. In 2015, Working Well received additional funding through SC DHEC to further expand into businesses in 15 target counties throughout SC. In addition, Working Well has excitedly accepted the role as the evidence-based worksite wellness strategy in the SC Obesity Action Plan, SCaleDown.
To date, Working Well has been implemented in over 110 multi-sector worksites throughout SC, impacting workforces in healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, municipalities and city government, school districts, corporate headquarters, and state agencies.
The three pillars include:
Tobacco-free people and places
Delicious and affordable, healthy food environments
Access and opportunity for physical activity during the workday
Key features of the Working Well program include:
Policy, environment and systems focused
Enhance, align and sustain current wellness initiatives
Recognize the cost of doing nothing
Create a culture of wellness
Make the healthy choice the easy choice
Take care of your most valuable asset - your employees