The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) knew incorporating wellness into their culture was not going to be easy. Take a glimpse into what makes their wellness practices successful and tactics they use to share information with their employees and students.
Our guest blogger, Alicia from the University of Central Arkansas, took time to break down the struggles UCA has had and what makes them successful today.
Thank you Alicia and the UCA wellness committee for all you do for wellness in your industry!
#1 Change is hard.
#2 Progress, even though slow, is progress.
Understanding that these two points are integral to success that has been a long road. When we first started on the wellness program journey at UCA, our defining moment (more than a year into the journey) was in a wellness committee meeting where 12 people (all experts in some aspect of wellness or benefits) were asked to define 'wellness' in terms of their values, strengths, and passions. Before doing this focused activity, our committee was competing and arguing. After looking at these responses, we realized we are all saying the same things, just in different words.
Creating unity was hands-down one of the most gratifying and progressive outcomes for the committee. We value diversity, transparency, and communication. Our strength is the desire to succeed and commitment to wellness. Our passion is to help others be healthy and transform our UCA culture to a culture of wellness. These words became fuel for our mission and vision. From there, we built a strategic plan and an ethical framework. Working in an academic setting often has its own unique challenges. Decisions take time, trust is hard to build, and there are many different job responsibilities that come with many different pay scales.
Once we were able to describe our goals, we searched for the perfect partner to help us succeed. HealthCheck360 has become a critical component in building our wellness program. Their experts in multiple topics areas are always available at our fingertips and there is consistency in their message as well. Their understanding that our values, strengths, and passions may be different from other industries, companies, and even universities helped us build a custom wellness program.
Building company challenges unique to our population has been a great success. In particular, we wanted to partner with our student health services to make our dream of creating a culture of wellness more real. We are able to use customized messages that would reach not only faculty and staff, but our students as well. We partnered with our food vendor on campus to provide educational materials and fruit infused water. We also posted "toilet talk" posters about sugar-sweetened beverages throughout campus bathrooms and set regular messaging to various groups about the importance of hydration. Our HealthCheck360 portal housed our water intake challenge information and created a user-friendly environment for our employees to enter their daily beverage intake.
Working through the details and hosting a comprehensive challenge like this would have been an arduous task without the help of our HealthCheck360 team! We look forward to many more customized programming ideas to keep our population engaged and enthusiastic.
Thank you again, Alicia! We are excited to see where UCA will take their wellness program next, whether that be more challenges, increasing goals, or sending out more communications throughout the university. If you would like to read other best practices in the workplace and corporate wellness check out this blog post! Plus, see more on our flexible technology solutions here.