Prior studies show that for every dollar invested in worksite health promotion, there is a medical cost savings of $3.48 and an absenteeism cost savings of as much as $5.82. With Westin Hotels & Resorts rolling out an employee program this week for 25,000 associates, the international hotel chain is sure to see improvements in both its workers and its profits.
Launching at 181 Westin properties worldwide, the "Elements of Well Being Platform" corporate wellness program will comprise of three components: SuperFoodsRx™, WestinWORKOUT® and Breathe Westin®. All three components are expected to encourage healthy choices and improved well-being both in and out of the workplace.
Westin was the first hotel brand to offer its guests signature SuperFoodsRx™ menus to encourage a healthy lifestyle, and now the same menu is expanding to employees in this new workplace health promotion program. The Well Ambassador, the person designated to oversee the corporate wellness program at the property, will work with their executive chef to develop healthy menu selections and a rotating schedule of dishes rich in Superfoods, including delicious foods such as blueberries, salmon, yogurt, and pumpkin. The SuperFoodsRx could also include cooking classes and snack breaks incorporating these ultra-healthy foods.
The WestinWORKOUT® aspect of the Westin workplace health promotion program is meant to incorporate exercise and improve workplace wellness on the job as well as away from it. The workout component offers associates a chance to lead others in before and after-shift stretching routines. Housekeepers will also receive slip-resistant athletic footwear to help improve their comfort and productivity during their shifts. Employees are also supported in establishing running and exercise groups and educational programming on how to stay healthy while doing daily work activities, such as lifting and standing for extended periods of time.
A workplace health promotion program isn't complete without clean air, and that's specifically what Breathe Westin® is all about. Breathe Westin works to improve workplace wellness by focusing on air quality, but doing that by doing more than moving smokers 25 feet from entryways. Although smoking isn't out of picture, since Westin was the first hotel brand to implement a smoke-free policy, Well Ambassadors at Westin properties can chose to place detoxifying plants strategically, such as Dwarf Date Palm and Peace Lilies, near copiers and printers to off-set emissions. It's also been found that having plants in the workplace also reduce stress and produce oxygen, so this is a double bonus to workplace wellness for Westin associates, as well as a cost-friendly option in corporate wellness programs.
Implementing a workplace health promotion program may seem costly for others in the hospitality industry at this time, but considering Westin's program demonstrates that workplace wellness is about the education and encouragement of employees, and not necessarily about boosting health benefits. If that's all it may take to improve productivity while reducing the number of days missed, then a corporate wellness program could be something more brands consider in order to remain competitive on an international scale.