Home Hardware Stores Ltd. hosted a series of health fairs in November for more than 2,000 employees in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario to raise awareness of the health benefits available to them.

While some of these locations have held health fairs in the past, this year marked the first time the organization included reward cards that allowed employees to track their attendance and win a prize, says Deb Benham, recruitment and communications manager at Home Hardware’s head office in St. Jacob’s, Ont. The card, which fits into the back of employees’ badge holders, has six squares to represent a range of health events held throughout the year. As they attend each event, employees receive a stamp; at the end of the year, they hand in the card and receive a $50 gift card.

“It really increased participation at all of our events,” says Benham. “Those who could only participate in some events still had their name go into a draw for gift cards. There was a lot of positive feedback on this type of reward.”

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The health fairs, which were held at Home Hardware’s distribution centres in Wetaskiwin, Alta. and Debert, N.S., its manufacturing facility in Burford, Ont. and its corporate head office, included more than 30 booths featuring naturopaths, physiotherapists, fitness facilities, local cancer centres, mental health associations, ear and hearing clinics, local pharmacies checking blood pressure, chiropractors and more.

“We brought the health-care services to them and they could choose to take advantage of whatever type of service they wanted,” says Benham, noting employees could book onsite appointments, whether that be having their gait assessed or meeting with a naturopath.

“It makes it easier for staff to have access to health resources or [they] may not know what’s local in our community as well that’s easy for them to access,” she says. “That gets their foot in the door to see if they’d like to continue with those services.”

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The organization communicated the health fairs to employees through a number of mediums and also ensured the timing was flexible so staff on any shift were able to attend. “We allowed them to come over on the meal time, as well as we paid an additional 45 minutes for them to take part in the health fair,” says Benham. “We didn’t want them rushed.

“They were welcome to come before or after their work hours as well. And, best of all, we offered draws for paid days off, just for taking part. There were five paid days given away in St. Jacobs.”

The fairs are tied to Home Hardware’s wellness programs, which are facilitated by La Capital Insurance and RWAM Insurance.

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Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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