Section 4: Linkage
Step 1: Identify Partners
One of the critical first steps is to identify other company and community functions and benefits that are offered and how they can augment/support wellness efforts (and vice versa). Think about the programs and services you are already offering to employees. Is there an opportunity to connect employees who are participating in these programs with information and resources to assist with good nutrition and weight management? Make sure you are aware of any resources that your health plan may offer; many have online programs or resources available by mail or phone that are available to members . Are these being promoted to your employees, and are there ways to do that through existing communications? There are also many resources throughout your community that can provide services and programs. Get familiar with what is offered in your community and connect with them to access their resources and information.
Website: Fitness Council of Jackson
Website: Jackson Department on Aging
Website: Allegiance Diabetes Center
Website: Health Improvement Organization
Website: City of Jackson - Parks and Recreation Department
Website: Jackson YMCA Website
Step 2: Develop Capacity
Laying the groundwork for effective linkage will require developing capacity to link your population in need with the expertise and resources to successfully address nutrition and weight management.
Identify how your population is interacting with existing programs/services and create opportunities to connect them with wellness resources/programs/events. There may be local support groups being offered that your employees can join, or these community connections may have valuable information about promotions, community classes or programs. One example of this sort of linkage is to provide discounts to local fitness facilities. Discounted memberships encourage employees to start regular physical fitness programs, allowing them to save money. By participating, they can build outside relationships with co-workers, relieve stress, and get rewarded for maintaining a good level of physical fitness. Discounted memberships are also a good alternative to creating an on-site fitness facility.
- Contact individual health clubs (commercial fitness centers, fee-based, nonprofit agency fitness centers, and hospital-affiliated fitness/wellness centers) to inquire about corporate rate packages.
- Evaluate which clubs participate in company discounts and offer the best programs and amenities.
- Try to find a program that extends the discount to family members.
- Provide the human resources department with all of the information.
- Create a menu of fitness centers for employees to use as a resource.
- Promote the program/discount to employees.
Website: CDC Discount Fitness Club Network
PDF Discount Fitness Club Network Planning
Website: My Step by Step
PDF My Step by Step Team Challenge Overview
Website: American Heart Association Start!
Step 3: Create Screening and Referral Systems
Employee needs may be identified through a number of mechanisms. In worksite wellness initiatives, one very common way is through a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA). Many HRA’s provide individualized feedback to the participant, either in written format, or through in-person coaching (or both). If your worksite uses an HRA, make sure the feedback to the participant is addressing identified needs for weight management, and making referrals for follow up. Individuals may also be identified/referred by physicians or through worksite or occupational health screenings.
Website: Exercise is Medicine Exercise Prescriptions
PDF Biometric Screenings
Step 4: Coordinate Programs
Effective linkage involves creating connections and inter-refferals between worksite wellness programs and other services, including: