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The Playbook

 Healthier U Vision: To create a model wellness program designed by state employees for state employees that creates and sustains a worksite culture of health.

Why Healthier U

Since state employees spend most of their waking hours at work, the State of California wants to create a workplace that promotes and sustains a culture of health to enhance the overall well-being of the state workforce so that employees are happy, healthy, and productive.

A 2012 Urban Institute Study of CalPERS medical care expenditures in 2008 found that 22.4 percent ($362 million) was attributable to chronic diseases amenable to prevention through changes in diet and physical activity. A five percent reduction among state employees in the prevalence of preventable conditions could save the state $18 million annually.

Healthier U is about improving productivity, lowering absenteeism and reducing workers' compensation claims. It's about helping employees meet their wellness goals so they can lead healthy lives at work and at home.

Making Workplace Wellness Work: A Labor Management Approach

Healthier U was developed by a unique partnership between CalHR, SEIU Local 1000, State Treasurer's Office, State Controller's Office, CalPERS, Kaiser Permanente and Sierra Health Foundation with support from The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation.

Healthier U is built on a unique labor-management approach that actively solicits and incorporates employee feedback by:

  • engaging all levels of the organization;
  • establishing equal representation of labor and management on committees and workgroups;
  • building on employees intrinsic motivation through friendly competition and peer support;
  • securing executive leadership support;
  • actively utilizing "boosters" or wellness champions to make small changes in their individual work areas and to help support wellness efforts; and
  • meeting employees where they are so employees can pursue their own personal goals.

Each Healthier U program is unique to the department that is building it.

  • It is not a one-size fit all.
  • It is not a wellness program in a box.
  • It is your wellness program designed by and for you.
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