The City of Meridian is an employer that genuinely cares about the overall wellness of its employees and their families. This philosophy not only makes the City a great place to work, it also serves the public interest by minimizing preventable healthcare costs.
The Human Resources Department is the starting point for tools that City employees can use to improve and maintain their physical and mental wellness, including:
• EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. Under the EAP, City employees or their family members who are facing stress or crisis can make up to five paid visits to a mental health care provider every year. In addition to the therapeutic benefits to individual employees and their families, EAP also improves workplace productivity and morale. For each $1 invested in an EAP can save an employer up to $16 by significantly reducing sick leave, lost time, and time spent on supervisor reprimands.
• HEALTH SCREENINGS. HR’s Wellness Committee is a group of City employees from all departments who work to improve the health and wellbeing of all City employees. The Wellness Committee sponsors an Employee Wellness program featuring cholesterol screenings, flu shots, and body composition analyses. This year, on-site mammograms, prostate cancer screenings, and personal health surveys by St. Luke’s will also be available to employees.
• FITNESS CHALLENGE. This spring, the Wellness Committee organized a 4-month Fitness Challenge, and as a result, every one of the 51 City employees participating lost weight and inches, for a total of 469 pounds and 310 inches! The emphasis was on helping employees develop healthy, sustainable exercise and eating habits.
• ON-SITE FITNESS RESOURCES. Other wellness opportunities for City employees include on-site Pilates classes, weight room and cardio workout facilities, and chair massage. Studies have shown that exercise and massage improve participants’ focus and energy, reduce incidents of illness and thereby reduce absenteeism, and increase on-the-job productivity.
The City of Meridian Human Resources Department promotes a culture of wellness at the workplace and beyond. At a time when 70% of health care costs in America are spent to treat preventable lifestyle diseases, employees who are proactive about their health and wellness can save their employers money otherwise spent on treating such health problems reactively.