Governments at all levels are challenged to adopt best practices to reduce costs, improve performance and enhance services. Wellness programs must be viewed as a key factor in achieving these goals. Read how Walworth County started building an organizational culture with an emphasis on wellness well before other local municipalities and through their wellness program have successfully improved the health of their employees.
Walworth County Stays the Course to Improve Employee Health
Over the last 25 years, municipal governments responded to increasing healthcare costs by implementing workplace wellness programs. However, a recent survey suggests only about 20 percent of municipalities have had wellness programs in place for more than 10 years. Walworth County located in southeast Wisconsin is among that 20 percent; a pioneer who has been committed to employee health and well-being for over 14 years.
Walworth County partners with Interactive Health to provide wellness screenings, health coaching and other personalized resources to their eligible employee and retiree population. The County also leverages the expertise of its TPA (health claims administrator) and insurance broker to promote the “Live Well, Work Well” program.
This municipality has continued to keep participation and engagement high. In fact, participation over the past 3 years exceeded 80 percent and engagement with a health coach was 95 percent in 2018. The County continues to see good results too. In 2018, 75 percent of repeat participants in the health screening met their personal health goal, 39 percent of participants at moderate risk in 2017 moved to a healthy state in 2018 and almost 90 percent of those who were already healthy stayed that way.
So how does Walworth County continue to see such great results? First, the County aligns worksite health screenings with the overall health benefit plan to offer health insurance premium reductions for participation and meeting individual wellness goals.
Next, information about health screenings, fitness classes, worksite challenges and local activities are communicated often and via multiple channels including monthly newsletters, emails, flyers and an online wellness portal. The wellness program committee made up of employees from various departments, assist in this communication and meet to share ideas on how to provide employees with creative opportunities to improve and sustain personal health. Finally, the County uses aggregate wellness program data to evaluate success and make improvements in future programming.
Investing in the health of employees and building organizational cultures with an emphasis on wellness is an essential step toward building high-performing municipal governments and healthy, happy employees. Just ask Walworth County.
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