Workplace wellness programs offer benefits

Rebecca Weitzel
Rebecca Weitzel

Like many organizations and businesses in recent years, Hilltop Community Resources realized the cost of providing health care to an increasingly unhealthy work force was unsustainable. Something had to be done.

Rather than ignoring the problem or giving up, the Grand Junction-based Hilltop decided to put a strategic plan into place five years ago that included hiring a wellness coordinator, adding wellness to its strategic plan and budget, rolling out a wellness incentive program to address all aspects of employee well-being and revamping the benefits plan to include consumer education and a value-based design that emphasized preventative health and provider engagement. The plan also included creating a team of wellness champions throughout the organization and fostering collaboration between the wellness, risk, benefits, employee health and worker’s compensation departments to form a “super wellness” team to better address each employee as a whole person.

With that wellness strategy in place, Hilltop had hoped to begin bending the health care spending curve in 2010 to a sustainable level of increases closer to normal inflation rates. Hilltop not only bent the curve, but broke it in reducing health care costs to below 2010 levels and keeping them there for five years. In the process, Hilltop improved its worker’s compensation modifier, leading to lower premiums and costs savings with a record low premium set for 2016.

Because of its well-rounded and personal approach to wellness — a strategy that focuses on employee engagement and company culture — the Hilltop initiatives were recognized by the Colorado Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, Colorado governor’s office and Colorado School of Public Health worksite wellness initiative, Health Links. More importantly, Hilltop is recognized by 98 percent of its employees as a place they’re proud to work.

Now, Hilltop is reaching out through its new community wellness initiative, Health Top Wellness Solutions, to offer support and expertise to help other businesses and organizations build effective wellness programs of their own.

Health Top Wellness Solutions provides a range of services and products, including:

Low-cost health screenings and wellness coaching.

Consultations and surveys to determine organizational needs and interests.

Assistance with wellness program design and implementation.

Quarterly wellness challenge toolkits that are customizable and easy to implement.

Onsite lunch and learn events on a range of topics.

Unique branding and logo designs for wellness programs.

Monthly customizable employee newsletters.

Assistance with special projects.

Hilltop’s success with its wellness initiatives demonstrates worksite wellness programs really can work. As more businesses and organizations recognize the value of improving employee well-being through similar programs, they work together to improve the work force of the entire community.