Promoting a well workplace model that sets an example for other organizations and the community to follow, the City of Clearwater is the FIRST city government in Pinellas County to pass a wellness policy for its employees! The City of Clearwater will now establish a Wellness Committee to plan, develop, promote, and monitor the progress and effectiveness of wellness initiatives, programs, and activities. Sitting on the committee will be the City Wellness Specialist as Chair, the City Parks and Recreation Coordinator assigned to wellness, the City Human Resources Benefits and Employee Relations Manager, the City Risk Manager, the City Employee Health Center physician, the designated representative from the City’s medical insurance carrier, and one representative from the group of City Wellness Champions as selected by the City Wellness Specialist.
A group of Wellness Champions will also be appointed to assist the City Wellness Committee in the development, implementation, and monitoring of wellness initiatives, programs, and activities. One Wellness Champion will be appointed to represent each applicable City work site or facility as determined by the City Wellness Committee. Nominations will be accepted from management or general employees, and individuals shall also be permitted to self-nominate. The selected candidates will be recommended by the Wellness Specialist with final approval by the Committee and will serve two year terms.
What does implementation of a Wellness Policy mean in the workplace?
For one thing, the City will provide opportunities and encourage employees to engage in physical activity during non-work time, while at work. The City will also conduct periodic group wellness physical activities. Employees will be permitted to participate in the group wellness activities during work time with supervisor approval and operational demands permitting.
Additionally, the City will promote increasing employee nutrition knowledge to assist employees in making healthy eating and drinking choices. Nutrition education will be made available to employees through various programming activities, electronic and print media, the City’s Employee Health Center staff, and the City’s medical insurance carrier.
Potable water will be made available at each work facility in sufficient quantity to meet the hydration needs of all employees. Filtered and/or purified or natural spring water will be accessible through at least one water fountain and/or vending machine located within a reasonable distance of the facility. Regarding snacking, vendors shall be required to include healthy food and beverage selections in the permitted product list for products to be made available in the vending machines or other city facility locations.
When choosing food and beverage options to be served, disseminated or otherwise made available through purchase by the use of City funds, at any meeting, function, or in any common area of a City facility for consumption by employees or the general public, employees will be asked to select the healthier options from among the choices available. Employees will also be encouraged to bring healthy foods to work, especially if they plan to share those with others.
Congratulations to the City of Clearwater for pioneering this effort and being the first city government in our county to step up to workplace wellness!