Nebraska Awards Organizations for Effective Employee Wellness Plans

by: Nichole Gunn December 7, 2010

Thirty-three Nebraska employers were honored this year through the Governor’s Excellence in Wellness award for effective employee wellness programs.

“These awards recognize employers for their serious commitment to employee wellbeing,” Gov. Dave Heineman told the Imperial Republican. The Governor went on to note, “These programs are helping more Nebraskans lead healthier lives."

The essence of the award program is to reflect that actions speak louder than words. Employees participating in the programs demonstrate significant changes in their lifestyle attitude and behavior. The prevention and wellness strategies are boosting: employee satisfaction, productivity, and employee health, while at the same time helping to curtail healthcare costs.

The Upper Republican Natural Resources District (URNRD), a water resources agency, was one of the recipients of this year’s award.

The URNRD program, initiated two years ago, “is designed around three areas upon which employees wanted to improve. Those were eating the daily amount of recommended fruits and vegetables, physical activity, and routine health checkups.”

Deb Hayes, coordinator for the URNRD wellness program, explained that employees are demonstrating tangible results, including weight reduction, improved blood pressure, and increased exercise. Rather than bringing donuts to work, employees are bringing in fruit.

Studies emphatically conclude that comprehensive preventive wellness programs can provide a 3-to-1 return on investment; this motivates employers to use these strategies to help reduce their healthcare costs, while at the same time boost productivity.