Supporting Employee Health & Wellness
Since the Heart of New Ulm began, worksites throughout the New Ulm area have embraced the work of the project to help support employee health and wellness. Today, more than 40 of the area’s largest 100 employers have active wellness programming — an increase from only five in 2009. Employers have encouraged their employees to participate in health screenings, offered worksite wellness programs, created policies such as healthier vending options, established tobacco-free worksites, promoted community programs and more.
The Worksite Wellness Action Team (WWAT) plans, schedules and conducts quarterly networking and training sessions for New Ulm area worksite wellness leaders. It also plans and conducts other programs for worksites and the community such as community health challenges, the Poker Walk, scavenger hunts and the annual Holiday Trimmings program.
WWAT Priorities and Recent Accomplishments
Workplace Wellness Trainings
Every year, the team hosts quarterly Worksite Wellness networking and training events averaging 30 participants from 42 different employers. Two of the trainings in 2022 focused on mental wellness, as a survey of worksites showed this was the top request for topics.
Resiliency Program for Local Worksites
Every year, the team offers The People Project program to worksites to help employees build resiliency through fun, evidence-based mental well-being strategies that result in better connected, happier people. In 2022, five worksites participated with 266 employees.
Poker Walk Events
The Poker Walk is offered every year in the spring to promote promote financial and physical wellness. Every Friday during the month of the Poker Walk, participants walk a designated one-mile route, which includes stops at five participating Chamber businesses. Participants stop at each business, pick up a playing card, assemble their poker hand, and drop off their poker hand each week for a chance to win gift cards.
Holiday Trimmings Program
The Holiday Trimmings Program is offered every year to help people improve their well-being during the busy holiday season. In 2022, 212 people participated.
Community Scavenger Hunts to Promote Walking and Bicycling
Since 2019, the team has offered community scavenger hunts for people to walk or bike around town and learn more about the community; offered in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield in 2021.
Success Story: MRCI Nursing Room
MRCI - New Ulm created a private space for employees who are breastfeeding mothers to express milk. The room is also available to all employees as a quiet space they can use during their personal breaks throughout the day.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, more than 80% of new mothers in the United States begin breastfeeding, and 6 in every 10 new mothers are in the workforce.
“It is our goal at MRCI to reduce barriers to breastfeeding for nursing mothers returning to work,” stated Melissa Hudson, New Ulm Branch Manager. “The created space is private, safe, clean and in close proximity to a sink for washing hands and cleaning breast pump parts.”
Worksite Wellness E-Newsletters
For additional ways on how your worksite can get involved in supporting wellness, visit our Get Involved page.
Additional Resources and Information
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