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Employee Wellness Toolkit

West Virginia University Office of Health Promotion & Wellness

Forward

Most colleges and universities offer a wide array of resources for their student population regarding wellness, and with the recent COVID-19 pandemic these have become more necessary than ever before. However, students are not the only group on campus in need of wellness resources, and there is a clear need for similar services geared toward our faculty and staff. To help fill this need, the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness at West Virginia University assembled this Wellness Toolkit for all faculty and staff across every one of our campuses. This Toolkit contains several ideas and resources for employee wellness, whether at home or at work, and organizes them based on how they relate to West Virginia University’s six well-being priorities: Physical, Community, Financial, Social, Purposeful, and Emotional.

Physical Well-being

  Caring for your body through regular movement and balanced nutrition and sleep.

  • At-home Wellness Ideas
    • Engage in regular physical activity, either alone or with others.
    • Be mindful of the food you eat and partake in healthy, balanced meals.
    • Ensure you are getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, being consistent with what times you go to sleep and wake up in the morning.[1]
  • Workplace Wellness Ideas
    • Screening Activities
      • Whether in the form of a health risk assessment, biometric screening, or tobacco attestation form, providing screening activities to employees helps to identify any possible risks to their health.[2] Additionally, these screeners could be used to encourage employees to pursue healthier lifestyles by implementing incentive programs or other benefits that they could potentially qualify for based on their answers.[3]
    • Preventive Interventions
      • Used to prevent the development or progression of health risks, preventive interventions include items such as educational resources given to employees and workplace programs about risk prevention.[4] Also, posters and infographics placed within the workplace are effective preventive tools which help educate employees about various health risks.[5]
    • Health Promotion Activities
      • This category includes anything provided by an employer, such as the inclusion of healthy food items in the workplace cafeteria[6] or access to the fitness facilities on campus.[7] Another example of this category which became much more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic is that of on-campus testing/vaccination sites.[8]

Community Well-being

  Feeling connected, engaged, and safe in your community.

  • At-home Wellness Ideas
    • Participate with local service organizations.
    • Connect with people who share common interests as yourself.[9]
  • Workplace Wellness Ideas
    • Departments or teams can strengthen their sense of community by creating a group on Facebook or another social media site for members to engage in.[10]
    • Arranging after-work department activities, such as holding a potluck or going out to a restaurant together.
  • Community Wellness Resources
    • WVU Center for Community Engagement[11]
      • They offer support for academic community engagement (ACE) where faculty can design a service-learning course for the community to engage in.
    • WVU Talent and Culture[12]
      • They have a contract with Care.com to offer caregiving benefits to employees of the University.
    • WVU Inclusive Campus[13]
      • A collection of social justice initiatives aimed at creating a safe, welcoming campus community for all.
    • WVU Division of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion[14]
      • Works to ensure a more inclusive campus community by providing diversity-related education, support, and policy development.
    • WVU LGBTQ+ Center[15]

Financial Well-being

  Learning to effectively manage your money and seek out resources to support financial goals.

  • At-home Wellness Ideas
    • Create a budget for yourself to help control and keep track of spending.
  • Workplace Wellness Ideas
    • Financial Coaching
      • Providing 1-on-1 access to a financial expert as part of an assistance program could help employees with any financial questions or concerns they may have.[16]
    • Compensation Teams
      • These are teams who work to ensure that each employee is being provided sufficient and competitive pay.[17]
    • Providing a personal finance video series to employees can also be helpful to improve financial literacy among faculty and staff.[18]
  • Financial Wellness Resources
    • WVU Center for Financial Literacy and Education[19]
      • Provides initiatives for improving financial well-being and education through methods such as events or seminars focused on financial literacy.
    • WVU Talent and Culture[20]
      • Provides information for employees about the various insurance plans, optional benefits, and retirement options offered by the University.

Social Well-being

  Building strong relationships, connections, and support systems with others, including coworkers and students.

  • At-home Wellness Ideas
    • Build connections with those in your community or social groups to establish a wide support system.
  • Workplace Wellness Ideas
    • Counseling Services
      • Offering free and confidential counseling services through an assistance program can help faculty and staff receive help for issues such as grief or substance abuse.[21]
    • Social Wellness Resources
      • WVU Council for Gender Equity[22]
        • Promotes equality of women in the academic and local communities.
      • WVU Women’s Leadership Initiative[23]
        • Empowers and engages women on campus and in the community.
      • WVU Collegiate Recovery Program[24]
        • Collegiate Recovery helps provide employee support through their “Faculty and Staff All Recovery Meetings.”

Purposeful Well-being

  Liking what you do and being motivated to expand your sense of purpose and meaning.

  • At-home Wellness Ideas
    • For those with religious affiliations, getting involved with a religious community (on or off campus) can help provide a sense of purpose and meaning.
    • Set goals for yourself and keep track of your progress toward them.
  • Workplace Wellness Ideas
    • Employers can encourage faculty and staff to participate in various purpose-related writing exercises. Examples of this could be a short reflection on one’s strengths or passions, short- and long-term goal setting, or writing about one’s personal or professional philosophy.[25]
  • Purposeful Wellness Resources
    • WVU Career Services[26]
      • Through Career Services, employees can find resources for professional development, job searching strategies, networking, resume building and review, interview preparation, and more.

Emotional Well-being

  Feeling a sense of balance in emotion, thoughts, and pursuits.

  • At-home Wellness Ideas
    • Limit daily stressors and make sure you are taking time for yourself.
    • Ensure that you are getting enough quality sleep.
    • Don’t be afraid to lean on others for support, and maintain social connections with close friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Workplace Wellness Ideas
    • Encourage faculty and staff to participate in mindfulness activities, gratitude exercises, and stress-reducing breathing techniques.[27]
    • Provide faculty and staff with contact information for the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Suicide Lifeline.[28]
    • Employers can provide access to free courses or webinars related to emotional regulation.[29]
    • Providing mental health counseling through their assistance program is another very beneficial way to help faculty and staff maintain their emotional well-being.[30]
  • Emotional Wellness Resources
    • WVU Faculty and Staff Assistance Program[31]
      • Contains a variety of mental health resources, such as self-assessment quizzes and appointment scheduling.

Conclusion

          By compiling these ideas and resources into one Wellness Toolkit and organizing them by which component of well-being they provide assistance for, faculty and staff of the University will no longer have to search multiple websites to find resources they may need. Simplifying this process will help to ensure that employees are aware of the different resources available to them, which will hopefully in turn lead to them being more frequently utilized. Additionally, the ideas and suggestions listed in this Toolkit can also be very beneficial for improving employee wellness if implemented.

Acknowledgments 

This Toolkit was developed by Daniel Thompson. Daniel completed an internship with the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness in partial fulfillment of a bachelor's degree in Health and Well-being in the WVU College of Physical Activity & Sport Sciences. Daniel's internship program coordinator was Dr. Erin Jordan. Daniel's practicum supervisor was Dr. Amy Sidwell.

References

Boston University. (2021). Wellness Resources for BU Faculty & Staff. Employee Wellness. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.bu.edu/wellness/.

Case Western Reserve University. (2021, May 24). Supervisor wellness toolkit: Faculty & Staff wellness. Faculty & Staff Wellness. Retrieved November 2021, from https://case.edu/wellness/facultystaff/resources/supervisor-wellness-toolkit.

Mattke, S., Liu, H., Caloyeras, J. P., Huang, C. Y., Van Busum, K. R., Khodyakov, D., & Shier, V. (2013). Employer-Based Wellness Program Characteristics and Prevalence. In Workplace Wellness Programs Study: Final Report (pp. 18–35), RAND Corporation.

National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities. (2021). Welcome to the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities. Return to Campus Guide. Retrieved November 2021, from https://healthyacademics.org/campusguide.

San Francisco State University. (2021). Faculty & Staff Resources. Faculty & Staff Resources | Health Promotion & Wellness. Retrieved November 2021, from https://wellness.sfsu.edu/faculty-staff-resources.

University of Oregon. (2021). Human resources. Wellness Programs. Retrieved November 2021, from https://hr.uoregon.edu/hr-programs-services/benefits/wellness-programs.

University of Pennsylvania. (2021, August 16). Penn Human Resources. Thriving in Times of Transition. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.hr.upenn.edu/PennHR/wellness-worklife/thriving-in-times-of-transition.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. (2021). Employee wellness. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.uwec.edu/human-resources/employees/faculty-staff/employee-wellness/.

WELCOA. (2021). Physical activity archives. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.welcoa.org/resources/resource-topics/physical-activity/.

WELCOA. (2021). Resources archive. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.welcoa.org/resources/.

WELCOA. (2021). Tobacco cessation archives. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.welcoa.org/resources/resource-topics/tobacco-cessation/.

West Virginia University Career Services. (2021). Career Services: Home. Home | Career Services | West Virginia University. Retrieved November 2021, from https://careerservices.wvu.edu/.

West Virginia University Center for Community Engagement. (2021). Faculty & Staff. Faculty & Staff | Center for Community Engagement | West Virginia University. Retrieved November 2021, from https://service.wvu.edu/faculty-staff.

West Virginia University Center for Financial Literacy and Education. (2021). Center for Financial Literacy and Education. CFLE | John Chambers College of Business and Economics | West Virginia University. Retrieved November 2021, from https://business.wvu.edu/research-outreach/center-for-financial-literacy-and-education.

West Virginia University Collegiate Recovery Program. (2021). Collegiate Recovery Program: Faculty and Staff Resources. Collegiate Recovery Program | West Virginia University. Retrieved November 2021, from https://recovery.wvu.edu/faculty-and-staff-resources.

West Virginia University Council for Gender Equity. (2021). Welcome. Home | WVU Council for Gender Equity | West Virginia University. Retrieved December 2021, from https://genderequity.wvu.edu/.

West Virginia University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. (2021). Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Home. Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at West Virginia University. Retrieved December 2021, from https://diversity.wvu.edu/.

West Virginia University Inclusive Campus. (2021). Inclusive Campus. West Virginia University. Retrieved December 2021, from https://www.wvu.edu/inclusive-campus.

West Virginia University LGBTQ Center. (2021). LGBTQ Center: Home. Home | LGBTQ Center | West Virginia University. Retrieved December 2021, from https://lgbtq.wvu.edu/home.

West Virginia University Medicine. (2021). For WVU employees: Wellness. Wellness | WVU Medicine. Retrieved November 2021, from https://wvumedicine.org/wellness/resources/services/for-wvu-employees/.

West Virginia University Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. (2021). Health & Wellness Inventory. Health & Wellness Inventory | Health Promotion and Wellness | West Virginia University. Retrieved November 2021, from https://hsc.wvu.edu/health-promotion-and-wellness/health-wellness-inventory/.

West Virginia University Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. (2021). Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Faculty and staff assistance program. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.hsc.wvu.edu/fsap/.

West Virginia University Talent and Culture. (2021). Talent and Culture: Benefits and compensation. Talent and Culture | West Virginia University. Retrieved November 2021, from https://talentandculture.wvu.edu/benefits-and-compensation.

West Virginia University Women's Leadership Initiative. (2021). Women's Leadership Initiative: Home. Women's Leadership Initiative at West Virginia University. Retrieved December 2021, from https://womensleadership.wvu.edu/.

WVU Medicine. (2021, February 9). Employee assistance program: Wellness. Wellness | WVU Medicine. Retrieved November 2021, from https://wvumedicine.org/wellness/resources/employee-assistance-program/.

Xavier University. (2021). Purpose wellbeing. Xavier University. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.xavier.edu/wellbeing/wellbeing-toolkit/purpose-wellbeing.

[1] National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, 2021

[2] Case Western Reserve University, 2021

[3] WVU Medicine, 2021

[4] Mattke, 2013

[5] WELCOA, 2021

[6] Mattke, 2013

[7] University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 2021

[8] Mattke, 2021

[9] National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, 2021

[10] University of Pennsylvania, 2021

[11] West Virginia University Center for Community Engagement, 2021

[12] West Virginia University Talent and Culture, 2021

[13] West Virginia University Inclusive Campus, 2021

[14] West Virginia University Division of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, 2021

[15] West Virginia University LGBTQ Center, 2021

[16] University of Oregon, 2021; San Francisco State University, 2021; WVU Medicine, 2021

[17] Boston University, 2021

[18] National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, 2021

[19] West Virginia University Center for Financial Literacy and Education, 2021

[20] West Virginia University Talent and Culture, 2021

[21] San Francisco State University, 2021; WVU Medicine, 2021

[22] West Virginia University Council for Gender Equity, 2021

[23] West Virginia University Women’s Leadership Initiative, 2021

[24] West Virginia University Collegiate Recovery Program, 2021

[25] Xavier University, 2021

[26] West Virginia University Career Services, 2021

[27] National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, 2021; University of Pennsylvania, 2021

[28] National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, 2021

[29] University of Pennsylvania, 2021

[30] WVU Medicine, 2021

[31] West Virginia University Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, 2021