Developing a culture of health at an organization is not something that one can do overnight. It takes time, energy and thoughtfulness. At U.S. Preventive Medicine we have spent the last 3 years building our organization around our mission, Making the World a Healthier Place. That includes all of us at USPM as well. Our own experience and that of our customers around the world have been used to modify and improve upon our product. As I walk around the office I get real world feedback on a daily basis.
So what are some of the ideas that you may wish to consider for your company:
- Our employees participate in The Prevention Plan which is tied to our health benefits through a premium differential linked to our Prevention Score. As our Prevention Score goes up through various levels our out of pocket costs for our health insurance go down. This is determined on a yearly basis and serves as an incentive to participate and change our behavior.
- There is an established Prevention Committee that coordinates our activities. They are tasked with creating this culture of health and come up with fun and interesting events.
- We have a rotating weekly Prevention Champion who discusses the theme of the day via email.
- Every Friday at lunch our Prevention Committee has a speaker or some other activity focused on health and prevention. We have had speakers on Tai Chi, fitting and selecting running shoes, drumming, climbing a local Light House and the Light Houses history, backpacking and other fun and engaging topics. At each of these sessions we get a chance to learn something new, chat with employees throughout the organization and celebrate successes.
- The Prevention Plan provides us with quarterly challenges which can be for exercise, diet, etc. Teams are formed internally and we compete. On a daily basis you often see a team walking around the outer perimeter of our office, where 9 laps equals 1 mile. This is further supported by recent updates to The Prevention Plan which added social networking components allowing teams within the company to communicate and cheer each other on.
- Throughout the office you can see posters, individual signs and other reminders of our focus and mission.
Each company will have its own culture and should seek to make health a part of it. With all the talk of rising health costs and the need to maximize productivity, this focus on creating a culture of health will have lasting benefits for any company and one of the key ways to make it work, is to make it social.
Feel free to contact me if you would like more information.