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Sunday, 24 May 2015 22:00

Wellness begins with open feedback from employees at Express Employment Pros

Written by  Jill Hinton
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When an employer fully funds its employees’ health plan — meaning that workers get the total cost of their health insurance and their wellness programming covered — the company has clearly made a choice to be well-invested in the health and well-being of its employees.

That’s the case with Express Employment Professionals, a Grand Rapids-based staffing company.

“We don’t have to invest anything financially (in our health plan),” said Theresa Drost, workforce solutions specialist and wellness coordinator at Express Employment. “Our owner is willing to support us in order to promote a healthy work environment.”

In the past, Express Employment struggled to find programs and activities that appealed to everyone on the team, Drost said. Rather than work through that “almost impossible” task, she instead recommends that companies looking to start their own wellness program should survey their employees to find out what interests them, and then schedule a variety of events and programs throughout the year.

“Then we were able to target different things throughout the year to make sure that we were encompassing everyone’s goals and not just what we thought people’s goals were,” she said.

Express Employment has been surprised at the number of resources — whether websites or local organizations like the YMCA — that are available to employers looking to improve the health and wellness of their workforce, Drost said.

“What was pretty exciting for us is that I didn’t realize how many resources were out there that are free,” Drost said.

But even with the range of outside help that’s available, Drost also advocates talking to internal teams to generate creative ideas.

The company often combined both internal and external feedback for help in implementing its wellness ideas, she said. If the HR team wrestled with ways to implement the wellness concepts employees suggested, they could always find inspiration just a click or a phone call away. The company could then adjust the suggestions they received to fit “what we thought would be successful for our team.”

Drost encourages other companies to make the commitment to implement a wellness program.

“One of the things that I’ve run into when I talk to people is that they think that it’s this huge time commitment, this huge money investment,” she said. “But I did that as part of my job, and it didn’t detract from what I had to do every day. It was just a few minutes every week, or take a couple hours a month to actually create the program.”

  • Company name: Express Employment Professionals
  • Location: Grand Rapids
  • Number employees:  11 full-time, 4 part-time
  • Wellness participation: 60-80 percent
  • Best practices: “We utilize employee feedback to try to make sure that we are engaging as many people as possible and try to incorporate challenges/training that we can support in the work environment,” said Theresa Drost, the company’s wellness coordinator.
Read 1419 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 June 2015 13:27

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