May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, and the timing couldn’t be better for University of Houston employees.
The university’s Humans Resources department has been hard at work creating an employee wellness platform to assist employees with their health and fitness needs. The platform, Power Up Employee Wellness Platform, is currently in a soft launch.
The department will collect feedback from the soft launch before officially launching it to the entire university.
HR is constantly looking for ways to support employee health and well-being and decided a wellness platform seemed like a logical choice to help in that regard. The process of implementing the wellness platform started months ago.
The new wellness platform will be an online hub that will serve as a one-stop-shop where employees can:
- set fitness goals
- track their steps and nutrition
- participate in fitness challenges
- take an online health risk assessment
- apply for fitness release time and wellness leave
Court Stein, Human Resources Wellness Administrator, said the wellness platform would also serve as a way for UH employees to stay connected and share fitness information.
“As we get older, we get stuck in our work routines, and our exercise regime falls to the wayside. So, this is another tool that will hopefully help employees become engaged with their health and personal well-being and also be a little bit social,” said Stein.
“You can connect and have friends on the account. Once you have an account, you can establish friends on there, start discussions and share information.”
Fitness release time and wellness leave are not new to the university, these benefits were established in the fall of 2016. Fitness release time allows employees to exercise three times a week for 30 minutes during working hours with their supervisors’ approval. Wellness leave works a little bit differently.
“That is eight hours off as an incentive, or as a reward, for getting your yearly physical and completing a health risk assessment,” said Stein.
Both policies aim to get employees to become aware of and engaged in their personal health and well-being. It’s also what the Power Up Employee Wellness Platform aims to do.
“So, for our platform, if employees get a certain number of points per quarter, they’ll be entered into a raffle for different prizes,” said Stein. “The idea behind that is to make it
fun for employees to engage around their health and well-being. Incentivize it such that they want to do so.”
Power Up Employee Wellness Platform is estimated to launch university-wide in the first week of June.