Survey says: Workers want more wellness

When Minneapolis, MN-based General Mills surveyed employees about wellness, they got some good news. "We were quite surprised by finding that employees were very positive, and in fact, wanted more health and fitness activities and events," says Tim Crimmins, MD, vice president of Health, Safety and Environment.

A survey to determine employee attitudes regarding worksite health promotion was e-mailed to 4674 employees. Even with no incentives for completion, there was a 71% response rate, with 91% saying that encouraging healthy lifestyles was a priority for the company.1

Crimmins says that his two pieces of advice to maximize response is to "keep the survey short, and have a well known or respected leader send out the survey to employees."

The company learned that males were less likely to be engaged in a plan to improve health, older workers were more likely to be engaged in health improvement, and employees felt more supported by the organization and less so by their individual managers.

In their written responses, employees asked for more activities and events involving health improvement. "Primarily, the results convinced us to stay the course with our current programming, while keeping in mind that you definitely have to be creative and 'mix it up'" to keep employees engaged," says Crimmins.

Reference

1. Crimmins TJ, Halberg J. Measuring success in creating a "culture of health." J Occup Environ Med 2009; 51:351-355.