SHIP and Workplaces

Many adults spend the better part of their day working, so creating a culture of health is critical to improving health in our community. Additionally, employers that are intentional about developing a heathy workplace culture are more attractive to perspective employees and increase engagement, retention, satisfaction and performance, thereby saving money through lower health insurance costs, increased productivity and decreased absenteeism.

SHIP partners with local workplaces to surround employees with healthy options. We do this by first focusing on the following foundational elements which become the backbone of a comprehensive and sustainable workplace wellness program:

New SHIP logo

Partnering with SHIP

If your workplace(s) is interested in applying for funding through SHIP in Brown, Nicollet, Le Sueur and Waseca counties, please review the application instructions (linked below); then complete and submit the application and budget (linked below) via email. Contact information can be found in both the instructions and the application.

BNLW SHIP Workplace Partner Application Instructions

BNLW SHIP Workplace Partner Application

BNLW SHIP Workplace Partner Application Budget

Active Living at Work:  Have time, space, and practices in place to encourage being physically active throughout the day

  • Adopt a Physical Activity Policy or Guideline, considering things like flexible scheduling and dress code (as able)
  • Support & encourage opportunities for physical activity (such as walking meetings, mapping walking routes, walking groups, encouraging active breaks, including during a meeting)
  • Create places for indoor and/or outdoor activity (such as bike racks, a bicycle library, standing work stations, stretching/workout spaces with equipment, posters, videos and/or classes, basketball hoop, pickle ball court, fitness center, showers, locker rooms, etc.)
  • Apply for recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Business
  • Offer classes or learning opportunities related to physical activity (e.g. yoga, chronic disease management or prevention courses, etc.)

Commercial Tobacco-Free Workplaces:  Provide tobacco-/smoke-free grounds with a strong cessation support system.

  • Develop and adopt a tobacco-free grounds policy, including e-cigarettes and other smoke-able products
  • Offering cessation support and learning opportunities
    • Promote Quit lines or host onsite classes/groups
    • Ensure benefits cover cessation medication
    • Offer financial incentives for a quit attempt
    • Encourage use of other stress management supports

Healthy Eating at Work:  Healthy foods are more available and less expensive than unhealthy foods.

  • Healthy Meeting Guidelines
  • Healthy Catering Guidelines
  • Healthy Vending 
  • Healthy Snack Stations
  • Healthy Cafeterias
  • Food Labeling System
  • Learning Opportunities about Healthy Eating, Nutrition and Cooking with Sampling
  • Onsite Farmers Market
  • CSA drop site
  • Healthy Hydration
  • Workplace Gardens/Orchard for staff or for donating

Lactation Support at Work: Employees who are lactating are supported in their efforts to give their baby the best start!

Well-Being at Work: Create and support an environment and atmosphere that encourages self-regulation and relaxed, healthy social interaction to increase sense of belonging and reduce loneliness and isolation.

  • Address work-life balance with family-friendly policies: sick leave, PTO, flex time for child care/elder care/self care, on-site or near-site child care
  • Have and promote EAPs and the benefits they offer (financial and legal consulting, return to work, crisis and critical issues)
  • Support resiliency skill building and provide quiet rooms 
  • Provide opportunities to build social relationships/reduce isolation at work as well as places for informal meetings/socializing (e.g. break time recess with bocce ball or beanbags)
  • Provide training about and implement trauma-informed policies and processes
  • Address work load and job autonomy through work design: train managers on assessing/supporting workload and include employees in addressing workload ambiguity, assessing capacity vs skill set, and optimizing work environment for the type of work
  • Ensure employee onboarding communicates about values, culture and policies related to wellness
  • Train managers/staff to recognize employees in crisis and who to refer them to
New SHIP logo

To learn more about Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website

For more about SHIP in Brown, Nicollet, Le Sueur, and Waseca counties, follow us on Facebook or contact Kristen Friedrichs 507-934-7221.