Human Resources |
Article by Leah Thayer
From the May/June 2017 Net Assets
What’s in a successful (and affordable) wellness program? At Fay School, you’ll find CrossFit, yoga and step-counting — physical fitness — along with opportunities focused on other types of wellness, such as emotional, spiritual, financial and intellectual. “A key is knowing your community,” said Diane Byrne, assistant director of finance and operations at the preK–9 day-and-boarding school in Southborough, Massachusetts. “And giving lots of choices.”
Byrne began researching wellness programs when she expanded her role to include HR responsibilities. “One of our core values is wellness of mind, body and spirit. I realized that we lived all of our values but didn’t have a focused wellness program,” which she knew had been shown to promote health, morale and productivity. In the program’s first three years, not every initiative has worked, but the benefits have been broader than she expected. Absenteeism has declined by about 10 percent, and growth in insurance premiums has slowed. Less quantifiably, there seems to be more campus camaraderie, and the school has tapped new sources of talent and generosity within its own community — most of whom donate their services.
Byrne’s recommendations to other schools:
Fay School budgets $10,000 a year for its wellness program, “but we haven’t hit that amount yet and usually come in closer to $8,000,” Byrne said. The biggest expenses are for instructors of yoga and sports classes, along with biometric screening at the wellness fair and the prizes. “But a lot of our programs cost nothing, or next to it.”
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