A healthy workforce is an accomplished workforce. That’s why the Santa Clara Valley Water District has made a concerted effort to promote wellness and healthy lifestyles through the ValleyWaterWELL program – an effort that has earned it recognition as one of the healthiest employers in the Bay Area.
The water district received the award from the Silicon Valley Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times on Sept. 8. The competitive award placed the water district third out of 20 companies with 500 to 1,999 employees.
Not only has the program garnered the water district this award, it has resulted in better health for employees and cost savings for the water district. The program’s participation rate of 82 percent has also led to an actual savings of more than $600,000 in the water district’s annual health insurance premiums in 2017. And employees have seen a significant improvement in overall health, with certain chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, coronary artery disease, overweight and obesity experiencing reductions among the workforce.
“The board authorized funding this program because we saw the important role that good health and wellness play in our employees’ lives, and the positive impact they have on our workforce,” said Board Chair John L. Varela. “This award emphasizes the hard work our employees have done to improve their health. We are proud to be one of the healthiest employers in the Bay Area.”
The water district’s award-winning program is centered around nine areas of well-being: getting active, eating healthy, contributing to the community, being productive, reducing stress, sleeping well, building relationships, learning new things, and managing finances. The program provides ongoing opportunities and activities related to all nine areas of well-being, which allows the water district to cater to all employees, regardless of their abilities, interests, or goals, while maintaining an employee-centric approach and a holistic definition of well-being.
The program includes both online and in-person activities to promote health and wellness. These include Weight Watchers at Work, lunch-and-learn seminars, biometric screenings, cooking demonstrations, onsite exercise classes, meditation, and a flu clinic.