Assisting employers in creating healthier work environments for employees
Photo: The Sartell Group in Minneapolis (courtesy of the Making it Better campaign)
Most adults spend a significant amount of time at their place of employment. As a result, it is important to promote work place environments that support employee health and wellness. The Minneapolis Health Department is helping businesses and organizations across the city create work environments that make it easy for employees to eat healthy, be physically active, and avoid the harmful effects of tobacco. To achieve this goal, health department staff and seven partner work sites are creating healthy organizational policies and implementing practices that make the healthiest choices easy and available for all employees.
Specifically, the Health Department and its partners are:
- Increasing awareness among worksites of the benefits of enhancing their employee wellness policies and practices for optimum employee health.
- Assessing each worksite’s food, physical activity, tobacco and breastfeeding environments as well as their existing policies and practices, and identifying opportunities for improvement.
- Drafting organizational policies and related action plans to improve the wellness environment in each worksite.
Health Department partners with the City of Minneapolis wellness committee to plan and implement wellness priorities for employees such as:
- partnering with local farmers to offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) drop off for City staff
- providing technical assistance to vending operators to ensure healthy options are available in vending service
- Offer the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) classes to employees
- The Health Department is partnering with Bloomington, Richfield, Edina and Hennepin County health departments to work with hotels on employee wellness.
Progress & Accomplishments
In 2015, the health department staff worked with seven worksites to accomplish:
- Completed health assessments at all seven worksites to identify the strengths and opportunities related to promoting health and wellness in their workplace environments.
- Created draft policies to support healthy food availability, physical activity opportunities, tobacco-free environments, and breastfeeding resources for working mothers at each worksite.
- Implemented practices at each worksite to support new healthy policies. For example, staff at CAPI, a local non-profit serving the Asian American community, created a walking route map to encourage employees to walk during lunch breaks or meetings.
- The City of Minneapolis conducted listening sessions with nursing mothers (City employees) to assess the breast-feeding friendliness of the workplace, which resulted in system changes that include an inventory of all lactation spaces in City buildings, a process for accessing these spaces which has been included in the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) orientation for pregnant women.
Contact the Minneapolis Health Department to see how your worksite can get involved.
For more information, contact:
- Worksite Wellness Resources (William Mitchell Public Health Law Center)
- Making it Better in Your Worksites – tips and tools for worksite wellness
- Physical Activity Wellness Policy template
- The Business Case for Breastfeeding: Easy Steps for Supporting Breastfeeding Employees
- The Business Case for Breastfeeding: For Business Managers
- The Business Case for Breastfeeding: Employee's Guide to Breastfeeding and Working
Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.
Last updated Oct 31, 2018