Employee Wellness Awards Program Marks Second Year - WOWIE Awards Program Accepting Entries until June 1
In 2010, companies and organizations from every corner of Illinois representing small and large businesses competed in Illinois’ first WOWIE Awards, sponsored by The Illinois State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (ILSHRM) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL).
In 2011, the WOWIEs are back and the new search begins for the companies that champion the health of their employees and strive to create a work culture that promotes physical activity.
The WOWIE Awards honor Illinois-based organizations or companies that take a creative approach to inspire employees to make healthy, active choices during working hours.
Workplace wellness programs have been shown to be effective and contribute to a company’s bottom line. A $1 investment in wellness programs saves $3 in health care costs, according to the Wellness Council of America. For businesses, there is much at stake, according to Donna Rogers, SPHR, Director of the ILSHRM. She cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control that attributes more than 75% of employers' health care costs and productivity losses to employee lifestyle choices.
A Duke University Study found a correlation between a worker’s body mass index (BMI) and the amount of money spent on worker’s compensation programs claims for that worker with costs approaching $51,000 for obese workers compared to $7,500 for workers with normal or average weight.
Criteria for the awards were developed by a team of ILSHRM and BCBSIL wellness experts.
According to Rogers, to be recognized for a WOWIE award, organizations must develop and implement a measurable, easy-to-follow program to achieve the recognition criteria. Initiatives must be ongoing and in place for 30 days prior to the date of submission.
"At Blue Cross Blue Shield, we strive to develop health plans for our employers and their employees that encourage prevention and wellness because we know that healthy workers are productive workers,’ said Dieter Freer, senior vice president, Illinois Market Segments, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL).
The WOWIE Award program has Silver, Gold and Platinum categories.
The Silver award will be given to organizations that demonstrate a solid foundation for success.
The Gold award is given to select worksites/organizations that meet the Silver criteria, as well as organizations that develop comprehensive programs producing results. These programs are strategic and aligned with the organization’s mission, vision and values.
The Platinum award recognizes organizations with well-defined and well-executed worksite wellness programming, and who meet the following criteria:
• Offer employees physical activity support
• Increase health eating options at work
• Promote a wellness culture
• Employ a minimum of 5 people
• Offer a variety of physical activities for employees
Companies that achieve any level of WOWIE award recognition will receive:
• An official recognition letter from ILSHRM and BCBSIL
• A recognition plaque for display
• Recognition on ILSHRM and BCBSIL program Web site
• Recognition by ILSHRM and BCBSIL at local events and in communication materials supporting the recognition program.
Applications can be found at: http://mydlc.com/illinoisshrm_wellness_site/index.html
Deadline for submission is June 1, 2011. Winner will be announced at ILSHRM’s Annual Meeting in August.