Business, Central New York

Five Simple Steps Can Make Your Company a Healthier Workplace

Local businesswoman Kelli LaPage focused her keynote address on reasons why companies should do more to encourage employee health. © 2015 Elissa Candiotti

By Elissa Candiotti SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Kelli LaPage says she’s found the secret for success in the workplace, and it doesn’t cost much. The president and founder of WellTrail in Syracuse, a company that helps corporations develop healthy workforces, helped kick off the 5th Annual Healthy Workplace Awards, sponsored by BizEventz on Thursday. LaPage outlined the top five tips for creating a strong and healthy work environment.

  1. Understand that wellness is a personal, ongoing process: No universal workout or diet will fit all employees, LaPage said. Building a healthy workplace is more of an individual process than a group effort, she added. “Wellness is a personal and individual process,” LaPage said.
  2. Keep discussions open to all employees and communicate visions and values: In order to see positive results, you need to foster a positive culture in the office, which involves open and ongoing discussions about the company’s goals, LaPage said. “It’s all about making sure that the vision, values, and tasks are clearly communicated,” she added.
  3. Walk-the-walk: It’s easier to talk-the-talk than walk-the-walk. In order to make a change, you have to follow through, LaPage said. If you want people to be healthy, you need to make sure there are healthy choices in the workplace,” she added.
  4. Find out what types of health initiatives employees want: To get employees on board, you first have to find out what their wellness goals and desires are, LaPage said. “Not everyone has the same issues so we make sure that everyone is heard, equally important, and equally recognized,” she added.
  5. Listen to feedback and apply it: Wellness programs can be improved through encouraging response and criticism from employees, LaPage said. “Recognize that wellness is an evolving process just like your organization, which is constantly developing,” she added.

“A good program does not have to cost a lot of money,” LaPage said. “You just have to have moral support from the workplace.”

LaPage said with that support, she’s seen the transformations and successes of many local businesses, including TERACAI. The Syracuse-based company that helps build technology infrastructures for businesses was one of three companies to receive the Healthy Workplace Award on Thursday. Kelly Parker of TERACAI said the business has focused specifically on LaPage’s fourth tip.

“We really look for input from our employees in what they’re interested in,” Parker said. “Then, we design programs around that.”

Gallagher Benefit Services in Syracuse helps companies build wellness programs similar to TERACAI’s. Vice President Maureen Pelose said the initiative helps people find a more positive state of mind.

“I wholeheartedly believe these programs work,” Pelose said. “You just need people believing in it for it be so successful.”

Bankers Healthcare Group also offers a 24-hour on-site gym for all employees. © 2015 Elissa Candiotti

Bankers Healthcare Group is one of many businesses in Syracuse that offer employees a clean kitchen with healthy options to prepare meals in. © 2015 Elissa Candiotti