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Try low or no-cost prevention strategies
Even for the most budget-sensitive programs, there are easy ways to implement low-cost initiatives that can result in great rewards down the line. Here are some suggestions from Brenda Schanhofer, wellness coordinator at Miron Construction Co. in Neenah, WI:
Facilitate a company-wide weight loss challenge. "This can be little to no cost and return great rewards on employee health," says Schanhofer.
Network with local hospitals and clinics to provide onsite blood pressure screenings and educational awareness programs. "This can also be of no cost to the company," says Schanhofer.
Establish a walking group during the lunch hour.
Contract with the local YMCA to provide onsite fitness classes.
Provide a pay-and-go fruit basket at work.
Consider investing in the Weight Watchers at Work program.
"Combining small efforts with low-cost initiatives will lead to long-term culture changes within the company," says Schanhofer. "When an initiative becomes part of the worksite culture, you start to see the true success and ROI of a program."
The key ingredient in a successful educational awareness program is recruiting reputable and knowledgeable vendors who will help sustain a high standard for your program," she adds. Schanhofer recommends:
Recruit local nutrition and fitness experts to provide lunch and learns or attend wellness fairs, such as local health club or YMCA professionals
Ask local vendors and wellness facilities to provide cost breaks and free trial periods for your employees, including bike shops, running specialty stores, and natural and organic foods merchants.
Network with reputable medical professionals from area hospitals and clinics. "This can increase the perceived value from employees," says Schanhofer.
"None of these ideas cost anything and can have a significant impact on your program," says Schanhofer. "Most often, vendors are willing to present at no charge, in return for acknowledgement of their business or organization."