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Sincerely Stefanie: Getting #EHSFIT in 2017

Sincerely Stefanie: Getting #EHSFIT in 2017

Workplace wellness programs influence employee morale, satisfaction, commitment and performance.

It's the end of another year. Would I call myself successful this year? In some aspects, yes, but in terms of my health and wellness goals, I still have a long way before I confidently can say I am at the top of my game.

However, I credit my constant drive for improvement to my local running community. Not a day goes by that I am not motivated to run or achieve my personal fitness goals because I see what others are achieving. I ask them for advice, I watch them as they tackle their goals and I draw from their experiences in my journey to make myself better.

In the workplace, wellness and safety go hand-in-hand. A safe worker not only is an employee who follows the rules for compliance, but one who is healthy and attentive. Health and wellness does more than improve the general well-being and morale of a company's employees. It also could lead to a more productive workplace, and, as EHS leaders, implementing wellness initiatives could play a role in preventing injuries and in keeping employees safe.

A 2013 survey conducted by Virgin HealthMiles asked 1,300 businesses and 10,000 employees about workplace wellness programs and employee health. The survey results revealed that employee wellness and an organization's vitality were directly correlated and influenced employees' job morale, satisfaction, commitment and performance. In addition, employees valued a positive wellness culture, with 87 percent of survey respondents claiming that health and wellness programs play a role in determining what companies at which they would like to be employed.

"The trends outlined within this survey mirror what we're seeing in the market: employees become much more motivated and productive when they know that their employer cares about their total quality of life, which goes beyond traditional wellness and includes physical, emotional, financial and social health," said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin HealthMiles in a statement.

So, just as with a safety-first culture, employees also value a company culture where wellness is at the top.

As an EHS leader, how are you showing your commitment to wellness in the workplace? Does your organization have a health and wellness plan? Is a healthy workplace part of your company's culture? Whatever your answers might be, let's start 2017 with a plan to achieve some personal goals, motivate one another by sharing our successes and make a commitment to not only a safety-first culture but also workplace where wellness is valued.

I would like to introduce #EHSFIT as a year-long collaborative social media initiative aimed at motivating safety leaders to set health and wellness goals and achieve them. The #EHSFIT hashtag will be a way for EHS professionals to share ideas and stories with the hopes that a top-down effect can be achieved in the workplace.

Some goals could include weight loss, smoking cessation, education about topics such as drug addiction and mental health, fitness goals or trying new ways to motivate your workers to participate in wellness programs.

Whether you're posting a photo or sharing a story using the #EHSFIT hashtag, I would like to challenge EHS Today readers to think about how they are setting the tone not only with safety programs but also with health and wellness.

Racing legend Mario Andretti said it best, "Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek."

Each week, I will tell you about my personal triumphs and failures. I also will share some of your success stories. So, follow me at @SVSafety on Twitter. Write to me at [email protected] about your health and wellness goals for the coming year. Use the hashtag #EHSFIT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to track your progress. Take pictures, write anecdotes and share your triumphs. Let's do this together. Let's get #EHSFIT.




Getting Involved

1. Participate on Social Media

Using a Hashtag
Hashtags turn topics and phrases into clickable links in your posts on your personal timeline or page, according to Facebook. This will help other EHS Today readers find you.

To make a hashtag, write # (the number sign) along with EHSFIT and add it to your post. For example: Today is a great day to be #EHSFIT!

2. Submit a Blog Post for EHS Today
Do you have a story you would like to share, but it's too long for a social media post? Submit a blog post to [email protected] All blog posts are subject to reviews and revisions.


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