SHERBURN - More and more businesses are taking into consideration the wellness of staff.
Some offer discounts or incentives for gym memberships, while others hold fitness challenges.
Temperance Lake Ridge in Sherburn is taking it a step further by bringing in a personal trainer to work with its employees.
STRETCH?’EM?OUT?— CJ Johnson watches and directs a group of Temperance Lake Ridge staff members in a warm-up Wednesday afternoon at the Sherburn facility.
"There is a lot of research that shows, and I know it from exercising myself, that exercise helps reduce staff burnout and increases wellness and productivity," said Temperance Lake Ridge director Lisa Lange.
Caregiving in assisted-living or nursing homes is a difficult occupation, with a high burnout rate.
C.J. Johnson, proprietor of Cutting Edge Fitness in Fairmont, says he has seen an increase in "corporate memberships," but admits the arrangement he has with Temperance Lake Ridge is a first.
"It is new for me, going into a business to train because they already have the facility," he said. "It makes sense, and I think it will work well because all they have to do is walk down the hall after work."
Johnson described corporate memberships.
"It ranges from membership incentives to corporate body-fit challenges," he said. "We see an increase in attendance at the gym. It's why I like seeing them have an incentive-based or requiring coming to the gym a number of times."
One of the appeals for employers is the bottom line.
"Having a solid wellness program has been linked to lower insurance premiums," Johnson noted.
If a place of employment is willing to pick up the tab, sometimes the money saved goes back into fitness.
"We've seen a lot of group fitness program involvement with corporate memberships," Johnson said. "Since they're paying less, they can invest in classes or a personal trainer. And when there's a competition, there is an increase in personal training, in hopes of getting an edge."
But the program at Temperance Lake Ridge isn't focusing on just working out.
"We're also offering education on nutrition and stress management," Lange said. "We concentrate on stress prevention, check-ups and clinics. We offer a flu shot clinic for our residents and for our staff, so we pay for our staff to have the flu shot."
In only its second week, the maximum number of slots in the Temperance Lake Ridge staff wellness group was completely filled.
"We're looking at forming a second group that will travel to Fairmont on Saturdays," Lange said.
She said Temperance Lake has helped staff with gym memberships, but wanted to do more.
"There are so many benefits of having a wellness program for the staff that it is hard to justify not offering one," she said.
Johnson hopes the trend with businesses offering incentives or programs for staff wellness will continue.
"Once [businesses] see a trend with other companies, they're usually interested in coming on board," he said. "I've only been here for a year, but in the past six months, we're seeing that trend increasing, and it's the same with our club in Clear Lake, Iowa," he said. "We've seen some great results."