Working Well: Progress in 2015

Over the past five years, Working Well has shown substantial success in the effort to impact population health in South Carolina through a focus on healthy workplaces. In 2015, Working Well sustained the engagement of long-time hospital partners; continued engagement with the Governor’s office, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the 16 state cabinet agencies; and expanded to include new business partners. Working Well continues to be the sole evidence-based worksite intervention strategy being implemented as part of the South Carolina Obesity Plan, SCaledown.  


Seventy-four South Carolina organizations, impacting more than 115,000 employees, had access to WorkHealthy America, an online evidence-based assessment and implementation support tool, in 2015. Of those who reassessed after their initial baseline assessment, 89% of organizations improved at least one letter grade in one or more areas. The percentage of organizations that demonstrated grade improvement has been greatest in nutrition (75%), then tobacco (71%) and last, physical activity (61%).  In 2015, 28 SC organizations achieved one or more recognition standards. Six of those sustained efforts required to be awarded the WorkHealthy America Excellence Recognition for achieving the highest standards in workplace health.  


Among the 20 publicly reported Wellness Quality Scorecard questions, Working Well organizations are doing better than the national average for 14 indicators related to nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation, and a culture of wellness. Working Well organizations have made significant improvements to strengthen employee wellness programs by implementing lasting policies, establishing and expanding human and financial capacity for wellness, and evaluating programs – making wellness a new norm for their workplace.  


Some of Working Well’s greatest improvements include: 

Assessing the adjacent environment for opportunities to support wellness;

Maintaining an active wellness committee;

Identifying clearly stated organizational wellness goals; and

Measuring the impact of wellness initiatives on employee participation, behaviors, and/or outcomes. 


A few remaining challenges include: 

Providing individualized feedback to employees who complete a Health Risk Assessment (HRA);

Allowing employees to attend workplace-sponsored wellness programs during work hours; and

Measuring the impact of wellness initiatives on employee productivity.   


The past year provided an opportunity for Working Well to build bridges between healthcare, government, and businesses seeking to support employee health. In 2016, some Working Well organizations will begin cost-sharing to promote the sustainability of the effort, while grant funds will continue to expand the initiative into the business sector. All of these efforts will continue to advance population health goals targeted in the State Obesity Plan.  


For more detailed information on Working Well’s progress in 2015, a copy of the 2015 Working Well Executive Summary Report can be found on the Working Well webpage

01-26-2016 02:49 (EST)