Employee Wellness Team Promotes Healthy Choices
By [helping employees] create healthy habits and become healthier, we strive to decrease the hidden costs of poor health, thereby being more productive and representing the College in a positive fashion.
In 2007, a band of Elizabethtown College employees met to recreate an old and somewhat forgotten group: The Employee Wellness Team. Since the team’s revamping, the College’s staff and faculty members are, once again, able to participate in organized fitness activities and gain a better understanding of the benefits of living healthy lifestyles.
Karen Hodges, coordinator of campus events and scheduling, was a member of the original team, which began in 1994. She now works alongside 13 other college employees, spanning 12 departments and offices, to “promote a work site culture that supports healthy lifestyle choices by valuing individual health and creating a supportive community to enhance the College’s vision of the optimal learning environment,” as described in the team’s mission statement.
Some of the most popular activities the group offers include: Jay Walkers, a scheduled walk during employees’ lunch hours, an EMPOWER weight management support program, outdoor hikes, topic-based lunch and learns with healthcare professionals, various fitness challenges and healthy cooking classes.
E-town’s Employee Wellness Team ultimately offers faculty and staff members the opportunity to improve both their individual lives and professional performance. Brenda Spiker, the manager of compensation and benefits in the College’s Human Resources department, believes there are “hidden costs” of poor health, which include increased errors and accidents, lower quality of services and higher rates of disability.
“By [helping employees] create healthy habits and become healthier, we strive to decrease the hidden costs of poor health, thereby being more productive and representing the College in a positive fashion,” Spiker said.