Hard-working waste and recycling workers face challenges on the job every day. The most successful companies know that keeping employees and customers safe is paramount.
Waste Pro's approach to safety and wellness is caring for its staff physically as well as mentally. The company has a “whole person” wellness approach, and its motto, ‘Caring for our Communities,’ starts with caring for each other.
Waste Pro’s dedicated human resources team organizes multiple programs of support readily available to all workers. A clear and focused mind is a top priority whether the employee is driving a truck, answering phones, or making repairs. The company believes the best employees must be physically and psychologically healthy and has been offering mental health and wellness programs for nearly all of its 22 years. The goal - meet workers where they are with resources and find the most effective ways to support employees and their families.
One way this is achieved is through the Employee Assistance Program, also known as EAP, provided by Charles Nechtam and Associates, C.N.A. “Waste Pro partnered with C.N.A. in 2007 to raise awareness that “life happens,” and sometimes, we need to talk about it with someone other than those around us,” shares Shannon Early, Vice President of Human Resources.
Early shares, “C.N.A. gives us an opportunity to take the well-being of Waste Pro employees to the next level and can be used by anyone in the employees' household.” The 24/7 service allows employees to connect with clinical professionals to discuss personal tragedies, childhood behavioral issues, financial crises, relationships, or even difficulties at work in a safe, confidential environment. All calls are immediately answered by one of the EAP counselors without being placed on hold or triage services.
Over 800+ calls are handled by EAP each year for Waste Pro workers and their dependents. Teladoc services were also recently introduced, providing another way for our employees to receive free counseling services. The Teladoc program allows patients to talk to a doctor, therapist, or medical expert anywhere they are by phone or video. With Teladoc, employees can schedule a visit by phone or video with a board-certified psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed therapist seven days a week at no cost to the employee and their covered dependents. Teladoc shared that 62 percent of its members would have gone without treatment if this service were not available.
Financial wellness initiatives have also been added to employee resources, made possible through Waste Pro partnering with Prudential and Bank of America, continuing the company’s commitment to ‘whole-person wellness.’ The investment in financial well-being programs has seen improvements in employee morale, productivity, and performance while reducing absenteeism, healthcare costs, and mental health strain.
Employees can begin their financial wellness journey through Better Money Habits with Bank of America and The Financial Wellness Center with Prudential. They have access to online resources such as articles, videos, financial assessments, caregiving support, student loan assistance tools, financial workshops, and one-on-one guidance by phone to help manage day-to-day finances, achieve financial goals, and protect against financial risks.
Not only has the company seen improvements in its workers, but investing in mental health programs pays off. There is a substantial return on investment in mental health. Every US dollar invested in scaling up treatment for depression and anxiety leads to a return for companies. Per the World Economic Forum, employers see a $4 ROI (Return on Investment) for every dollar spent on mental health care in the workplace. Waste Pro knows that investing in its workforce always has a good return, personally, professionally and financially.
About the author: Tracy Meehan is the director of communications at Waste Pro.
Editor's Note: September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. Submit your contributed pieces about mental health to [email protected].