Nursing association listens to its employees then responds with a fitness-based wellness program, mental health and stress resources — and financial wellness offerings
We are pleased to shine the spotlight on the American Nurses Association (ANA) Enterprise, an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Champion.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly everything — including how organizations provide for and promote the well-being of their employees. This was certainly the case for ANA Enterprise, who jumped to action to take care of its people.
The first step was to learn what the employees needed most during such a stressful, unique time. During the height of the pandemic in 2020, ANA Enterprise launched a Wellness Interest Survey among employees to gauge interest in health and wellness topics.
The response rate was high, and many employees said they would love to participate in an enterprise-wide wellness program. People were most interested in topics and resources like:
- Dealing with stress
- Financial wellness
- Virtual team-based activities
- Fitness challenges
- Virtual classes
- Virtual demos
ANA Enterprise listened, then it answered. Within a matter of months, the organization’s leadership team created a fitness-based wellness program founded on the feedback from the survey.
The first part of the program allowed all employees to receive a standard fitness tracker for free. Those who wanted an upgraded version of the fitness tracker could apply the credit toward a different model. A little more than 50% of employees submitted a purchase for reimbursement.
Next, the organization launched challenges connected to the fitness tracker. The first challenge was centered on getting and registering the device. The next challenge, which kicked off in mid-2021, was the Spring into Summer Challenge, an exercise-focused activity that had a high participation rate.
Going Beyond Fitness
ANA Enterprise understands that health and wellness goes beyond the physical. It’s also mental and emotional. 78% of respondents in the survey said stress played a moderate to significant impact on their health over the past year. This topic needed to be addressed, so the organization launched a series of educational webinars and seminars focused on it. Their most recent webinar was about dealing with the effects of stress after the pandemic, and it was well attended, with more than half of all employees participating.
Through an employee-run wellness committee, ANA Enterprise provides resources and activities to further promote wellness. Such initiatives (so far) have included:
- Virtual walks
- Chair yoga
- Art therapy sessions
- Cooking demonstrations
- Herb garden planting activities
“The launch of the enterprise-wide wellness program has gotten a big reaction,” said Jackie Hilton, vice president of human resources and organizational development at ANA Enterprise. “Our webinars also tend to be popular and well-attended. I think people appreciate the opportunity to engage, ask questions, and interact with a live person on the other side of the screen versus something pre-recorded.”
A Focus on Finance
Another area where ANA Enterprise puts more time and attention is financial wellness. The organization partners with its retirement plan provider to share resources around budgeting, saving for retirement, reducing debt, and saving.
“Financial wellness matters too,” said Jackie. “We’ve got a Financial Freedom Strategy virtual web meeting coming up in July that we’re especially excited about.”
Getting the Word Out
How do employees find out about all of the wellness opportunities at their disposal? ANA Enterprise spreads the message in an internal weekly e-newsletter, which always features health and wellness content. This is also where the organization shares what’s available for external audiences through Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ (HNHN).
“ANA Enterprise employees always have access to the challenges and resources available through HNHN,” said Jackie. “We provide the updates to employees internally during staff meetings, reminding employees that those offerings are available to them, too.”
When it comes to health and wellness for ANA Enterprise employees, there’s an opportunity for everyone. And because the program is based on employee feedback, it’s sure to make a difference.
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