Building Industry Magazine - August 2013 - (Page 28)
Why Owners Should Care
BY GARRETT J. SULLIVAN
one pizza slice at a time. A
recent survey by the Center for
Disease Control (CDC) determined
that 68 percent of Americans are
overweight. Why should this concern
companies? Even a few pounds of
excess weight, accumulated slowly
over many years, can lead to Type 2
diabetes. If diabetes is untreated or
poorly controlled, it can lead to heart
attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputation or even death. There
is no employer I know of who wants
any of this for his or her employees.
Why not launch a wellness program
that will not only make a positive
impact in productivity, but also on the
quality and length of your employees’
lives? Your wellness program may even
result in lower health insurance costs
for your company.
Where to start? You, as the leader,
will set the example. If you’re already
in great shape, fantastic. Share your
tips and success stories to motivate
your staff. If not, make today the day
that you turn it around. Take the
journey alongside your employees
who may be in the same situation.
Getting employee buy-in is crucial.
Invite your management team to join
a Wellness Council to create a program
that will help all employees regardless
of their current fitness levels. As a
working group, you’ll want to consider
the following guidelines:
Components of a Wellness Program
• Make your program inspiring for
all employees—not just the healthy
ones. Introduce the idea in a
way that doesn’t intimidate
or isolate employees
who struggle with their weight.
Encourage them to improve their
health, regardless of where it may
be at the moment.
• Provide assistance for employees to
know and track their base metabolism, the mathematics of weight
gain/loss, and how to figure out your
own body mass index (BMI). A good
resource is www.webmd.com/diet/
• Have employees track their BMI,
glucose level and blood pressure at
least every year.
• Create opportunities for exercise
at the company site and/or on
• Ditch the junk food and set a
baseline of knowledge on diet and
• Sponsor a confidential biometric
screening for employees (and
spouses as an added benefit).
Take the Lead
How do you motivate employees?
Wellness programs fail when leaders
don’t set a high standard for themselves
and others. The following tips can help:
• Keep the program fresh by offering
special incentive prizes each quarter.
• Track the cumulative weight of
the company on a monthly basis.
Create company weigh-in targets—
but be sure to keep individual
weight strictly confidential.
• Offer company-paid registration fees
for employees (and their families) to
5K runs, bike races, marathons, etc.
• Try team-building sports such as
soccer and softball.
• Create your own running event
around the community, with the
added benefit of some local PR.
• Develop, track and publish a
10,000 steps per day chart with a
monthly prize for the employee
who has walked the most steps the
Make it Simple for Everyone
• Allocate space in your office or
shop for an exercise room with
weight machines and/or ground
space for classes.
• Provide clean, accessible shower areas.
• Encourage walking meetings and
adjustable stand up desks.
• Hire a personal trainer to visit your
company at least once a week. Have
them lead group exercise and/or work
individually with your employees.
You can schedule this in between
shifts so some employees can exercise
immediately after their shifts and
others can exercise immediately
before their shifts (with enough time
to shower and arrive to the job site).
• Use your smart phone as a personal
pedometer. There are several free
apps available, such as Accupedo,
which will help everyone walk the
recommended 10,000 steps each day.
• Set a company “Olympics” date
with team-building activities.
• Provide company-paid snacks,
adhering to the “Five-A-Day” motto
(five fruits or vegetables per day).
A wellness program will allow
your employees to meet the many
challenges ahead as your company
strives to be a “Best in Class” contractor. Why not take a brisk, onehour walk today and be thinking
about how to help your employees
live a healthier, happier life? BI
Garrett Sullivan is president of Sullivan & Associates, Inc., a management consultancy focused on the construction industry.
Connect with him at GSullivan@SullivanHi.com, www.SullivanHi.com or 808.478.2564.
28 | BUILDING INDUSTRY | AUGUST 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Industry Magazine - August 2013
FEATURES: BIG ISLAND: PLANS and Progress
CONCRETE: Recent advances & Trends
Armstrong Pacific completes telescope project
DEPARTMENTS Editor’s Corner
Building Industry Magazine - August 2013