The worksite wellness program for state employees is called Work Well. Work Well supports the development of effective worksite wellness programs within our state agencies.
To create a workplace culture that supports and encourages the healthy intentions of each employee and visitor, with the outcome of a measurably healthier, more productive workforce.
Everything a state employee or visitor sees, feels, hears, tastes and touches supports their intentions to be healthy.
Role of the Agency Wellness Champion
Work Well is driven by representatives from across state agencies, Agency Wellness Champions, who provide leadership to the wellness programs within their own state agencies.
The Agency Wellness Champions represent their agency on the Agency Wellness Champions team. This team meets the last Tuesday of every month to network, collaborate and increase their understanding of what works in the young field of worksite health promotion. At the monthly meetings, Agency Wellness Champions are expected to fully participate, provide updates from their agency, contribute discussion topics and periodically host and lead an energy break.
Agency Wellness Champions are asked to participate on the team for at least two years. Each year you have a formal opportunity to withdraw or continue on the committee.
Work Well is staffed by Project Manager Linda Feltes. She works from the Employee Insurance Division of Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB). Linda is readily available to help you build your wellness program. She can serve to consult, present and connect you to people, resources and ideas.
Please feel welcome to explore the Work Well website and contact Linda.
Linda H. Feltes MS
Work Well Project Manager
State of Minnesota | Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB)
658 Cedar St. | St. Paul | MN | 55155
Work Well: http://mn.gov/mmb/segip/health-solutions/employees/workwell
State employees earn a rich package of wellness benefits. It is important for a Wellness Champion to understand and encourage the use of existing employee benefits.
Health Insurance and Pharmacy Benefits
The State of Minnesota is self-insured and provides qualified employees with three health insurance carriers from which to choose: BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota, HealthPartners and Preferred One. Routine physical exams are provided at no cost to the employee. Navitus provides our pharmacy benefits.
The State of Minnesota offers eligible employees and their dependents a choice between two dental carriers: HealthPartners and the State Dental Plan.
Personal Health Assessment and Health Coaching
State employees who are eligible for health insurance are also encouraged to complete the personal health assessment each year. The assessment provides a snapshot of your health status, and recommends strategies to reach your health potential. Completing the health assessment qualifies you for free coaching in different wellness areas. Those who complete a health assessment and agree to a coaching call are given reduced co-pays on medical visits for the year.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The EAP provides professional, confidential consulting services to employees and their immediate family members at no cost to the user, in a broad range of areas, including marriage, family, workplace, chemical dependency, financial and legal counseling.
Influenza (flu) shot clinics are held around the state each fall season.
Convenience clinics, located throughout Minnesota, provide quality medical care for simple illnesses such as colds and ear infections, health screenings and vaccinations. Services are available for a copayment, which is waived for preventive care.
Sick and Vacation Leave
State employees earn sick and vacation leave in accordance with their union contract.
Work Well is a wellness benefit for State of Minnesota employees and provides technical support to all agency wellness committees.
More information on these benefits can be found on the State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) website.
There are numerous tools in place to protect employees, instructors and the state from risk.
State Laws Regarding Wellness
Use of state property
Sec. 52. MN Statutes 2008, section 16B.24, Subd. 5b. Employee fitness and wellness facilities supports the use of state property for wellness/fitness and indemnifies the state from liability.
An entity in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch may use space under its control to offer fitness, wellness, or similar classes or activities to its employees, and may allow persons conducting these classes or activities to charge employees a fee to participate. Revenue received by a public entity under this section is appropriated to the entity. This authorization applies to all state space, including property in the Capitol area, and other designated property as defined in rules adopted by the commissioner of Public Safety. Persons conducting these classes or activities, and participating employees, waive any and all claims of liability against the state for any damage or injury arising from the use of state space for employee fitness and wellness classes or similar classes or activities. Persons conducting these classes or activities agree to indemnify, save, and hold the state, its agents, and employees harmless from any claims or causes of action, including attorney fees incurred by the state that arise from these classes or activities. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=16B.24
If a state employee is injured while participating in a class, he/she would need to look to his/her own health insurance. A state law prevents employees participating in employer sponsored recreational/health promotion programs from claiming Workers' Compensation benefits.
MS 176.021 Subd. 9 Employers responsibility for wellness programs. Injuries incurred while participating in voluntary recreational programs sponsored by the employer, including health promotion programs, athletic events, parties and picnics, do not arise out of and in the course of employment even though the employer pays some or all of the cost of the program. This exclusion does not apply in the event that the injured employer was ordered or assigned by the employer to participate in the program.
Sale of goods in state building
There are guidelines for the sale of goods in state buildings. Please contact Plant Management, Department of Administration for more information, Anne.Johnson@state.mn.us.
Protection from Liability
General Liability Insurance for State Employee Wellness Instructors
The State of Minnesota holds a general liability insurance policy to protect any individual state employee who voluntarily leads a wellness/fitness class for other state employees.
This policy also provides liability insurance to the state for a member of the public (a non-state employee) who participates in a wellness/fitness activity on state property. Please contact Linda Feltes for more information.
Waiver of Liability
Work Well has drafted a Waiver of Liability that you may use or work with your agency's legal advisor to adapt for your agency's wellness program: https://mn.gov/mmb-stat/documents/segip/health-solutions/work-well/user-agreemt-release-waiver-acc.pdf Steps to Arranging a Fitness/Wellness Class, page 3.
Fitness Leader Application and Emergency Procedures Form
Work Well provides a Fitness Leader Application and Emergency Procedures form that you may use or work with your agency's legal advisor to adapt for your agency's wellness program: https://mn.gov/mmb-stat/documents/segip/health-solutions/work-well/wellness-fitness-leader-application.pdf Steps to Arranging a Fitness/Wellness Class, page 2.
Chair massage Guidelines
Chair massage therapist must follow MN Department of Health guidelines and be registered by the City of St. Paul if practicing in St. Paul.
Our union contracts support wellness. Below are references from the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the State and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Other union agreements follow suit.
Wellness Champions are encouraged to open wellness activities in their agency to all employees. Work Well can help promote your activity by posting it on the Work Well calendar.
To have an activity posted on the Work Well calendar, simply email the information (with poster attached if available) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include details such as the building address for those outside of your agency to find.
Wellness Champions can find presenters and instructors, or submit their own recommendations on the Work Well website. Resources for Building Your Program Presenters and Instructors.
Worksite Wellness Programs Yield a Large Return on Investment
Companies receive many benefits after implementing a worksite wellness program. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that companies save $3 to $6 for every $1 they invest in wellness.
Unhealthy Behaviors are Killing Us
According to the National Health Care Statistics, the typical American diet is responsible for most of the preventable diseases, including 91% of diabetes, 82% of heart disease, and 71% of colon cancer. 65% of the US population is overweight, and 33% are literally considered CLINICALLY OBESE, which constitutes more than 90 million Americans. This is a 7-10% increase in less than 5 years. Only 15% of adults engage in regular vigorous physical activity (with or without personal trainers or personal wellness coaches, and 60% report getting essentially no exercise whatsoever from a regular leisure activity.
Chronic illness, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity, accounts for 75% OF HEALTH COSTS, according to the American Public Health Association.
Benefits are Far-Reaching
In addition to reducing health care costs over the long run, worksite wellness programs have been shown to increase employee morale, improve employee health, reduce workers compensation claims, reduce absenteeism, and increase productivity.
Pursue these steps in the order that is most likely to bring success to your wellness efforts.
1. Make a simple action plan. Start with steps that will bring you early success.
2. Recruit a strong wellness committee.
3. Find support. Build partnerships within your agency with communications, facilities, finance, human resources, and safety staff, as well as supervisors and senior leaders.
4. Create a name/logo/brand.
5. Assess worksite wellness benefits and environment. Promote what's already in place.
6. Write a charter.
7. Set realistic and SMART goals.
(SMART is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely)
8. Break goal into manageable steps.
9. Track progress.
Title: Wellness Program Coordinator/Specialist/Administrator
Purpose: The Wellness Program Coordinator leads the charge in creating an environment and programs designed to promote a lifestyle of health and wellbeing. These programs will focus on a variety of topics, including healthy eating, physical activity, mental health and resilience, tobacco cessation and more. The Wellness Program Coordinator will foster a culture of health and wellbeing across the organization.
1. Recruit, lead and maintain a strong wellness committee and facilitate the work of this committee % Time 60%
2. Represent the agency wellness program statewide at meetings and through presentations % Time 25%
The Wellness Program Coordinator will manage the agency's wellness budget and/or make budget recommendations related to areas of responsibility
4. Maintain knowledge of proven programs in worksite health promotion % Time 15%
Recommended knowledge, skills and abilities
Interest and knowledge of health promotion and prevention best practices
Staffing a Worksite Wellness Program
Staffing levels are based on the size of the employee population. Recommended staffing levels in full-time equivalents (FTEs) are:
<25 employees .1 FTE wellness staffing
<100 .4 FTE
<250 .8 FTE
<500 1.0 FTE
<1,000 1.5 FTE
<5,000 2.5 FTE
>5,000 Add staff as needed