How employee wellness programs support sustainability

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CROW Training

What do employee wellness programs have to do with sustainability? If employees endure a stressful state of being for a long period of time, they experience burnout. This affects a company’s overall productivity and profitability. How does one sustain a stressful environment, attend to numerous job demands and sustain a work-life balance? We could write it off as an individual responsibility, but forward-thinking employers might ask, “How can we help our employees find balance?” Sustainability, by definition, requires a long-term view. We are not necessarily going to see immediate impacts with wellness, although we can. When we are taking a holistic, sustainable approach we are looking at the big picture for employee balance, productivity, and profitability.

Overwhelming empirical evidence confirms that workplace stress, and the related employee disengagement, costs U.S. employers an estimated $450-$550 billion per year in lost productivity, absenteeism, and turnover (Global Wellness Institute). Stress has been estimated to cause 90% of doctor visits because it causes many symptoms of illness.

In 2019, employees need to know that their employer cares about them as an individual. A whopping 79% of employees believe it is a dual responsibility of employee and employer to help reduce workplace stress. One way to support employees is a robust employee well-being program.

A 2010 report1 by a team of Harvard University health economists, published in the journal Health Affairs, found that the average medical cost savings per dollar invested in wellness programs were $3.27. The report’s finding was based on an analysis of more than 20 peer-reviewed ROI studies.

If the only targeted result of an employee well-being program is direct cost savings, this is a good start. But can there be more benefits to the return on investment?

One successful well-being program, WellConnect, is offered to non-traditional students at ECPI University by its Student Resource Services department. The program provides support and well-being 24/7, 365 days a year, including resources such as:

  • Telephonic counseling with mental health professionals
  • Housing location and assistance programs
  • Childcare location and assistance programs
  • Local attorney referrals at reduced rates.

Increasingly, employers are interested in outcomes beyond health care savings,” says LuAnn Heinen, vice president at the nonprofit National Business Group on Health and director of the group’s Institute on Innovation in Workforce Well-Being. “Health and well-being are part of a broader workforce strategy that seeks to impact business outcomes such as recruitment, retention, customer satisfaction and employee engagement.1 In ECPI University’s case, its WellConnect program impacts students’ well-being directly.

Employers have become more and more wary of the impact of financial insecurity on employee health and well-being on their performance at work.

CROW Practice helps organizations elevate employee health and well-being through its network of Wellness Services. Offering a holistic view of the entirety of a well-being program, its experts provide out-of-the-box solutions for stress management and health. Its employee training program reduces the economic impact of disengaged and unwell workers that negatively impact the organization’s bottom line.

[1] Article: Does a New Study Underestimate Wellness Programs? in The Society for Human Resource Management — SHRM.org

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AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

Tools tailored to location and need

Disaster resilience requires a select toolset, identified, adapted, or created as needed based on planning calls and inclusive workshop participation.

Business and government organizations today are confronted by threat categories that range from drought to flood, from fire to hurricane, and extend globally to pandemics and sea level rise. Threat categories are broad and diverse, but ecoPreserve and collaborating organizations design resiliency tools for specific local context.

Local needs are identified and verified. Building from that essential understanding, tools are designed, tested in pilot programs, refined, then implemented through action plans.

Today's challenges/
tomorrow's potential

ecoPreserve collaborates with major community and private organizations in optimizing the resiliency and resource efficiency of their workplaces, venues, and public spaces.

In response to ever-increasing environmental, sociopolitical, and public health challenges, we advocate for and participate in assessment and planning actions that directly address disaster preparations, recovery activities, infrastructure improvements, and smart building/city design.

Online and in-person workshops

ecoPreserve designs and leads workshops in varied formats, to achieve varied goals.

Often an event is held for skill and knowledge development, but some needs of an organization or community are better resolved through collaboration to identify requirements and to design solutions. A range of Disaster Resilience workshops are available for solutions planning and development, as well as for training and communication.

Disaster Planning and Recovery Workshops

  • Identify technical and business process gaps
  • Define stakeholders, recovery teams, and processes/functionalities necessary for operation
  • Highlight missed expectations from a data loss and recovery time perspective
  • Address compliance with regulatory agencies and industry standards
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

  • PHYSICAL CONDITION
    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
  • INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPREAD POTENTIAL
  • OPPORTUNITIES
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
  • ORDER OF MAGNITUDE RENOVATION BUDGET
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC EQUIPMENT
    • Settings
    • Conditions
    • Capability
    • Filtration
  • FLOORPLAN
    • Traffic patterns
  • FURNISHINGS
    • Placement for social distancing
    • Clear barriers where social distancing is not possible

Interior Elements

  • Foundation
  • Building frame and roof
  • Structural elements
    • Floors, walls, ceilings
    • Access and egress
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
  • Storm water drainage
  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.