HES Supports Washington University Employee Emotional Health During COVID Crisis

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​​​​More than 1400 Washington University employees recently participated in a new emotional well-being program developed by HES. The 4-week program emphasizes mindfulness, optimism, gratitude, and connection — giving employees the option to choose activities best suited to their needs during the pandemic and beyond. 

The program, called Work of Art, was rolled out through WashU Wellness Connection, part of the Human Resources’ Employee Experience initiative. “We have a highly diverse population with significantly different challenges at any time, but especially during the pandemic,” explains Emily Page, Senior Employee Wellness Manager. “Jobs range from frontline healthcare workers to faculty suddenly working remotely. We wanted something that gave employees the flexibility to make the experience fit their circumstances.” 

Work of Art, one of HES’s theme-based employee well-being campaigns delivered through web and mobile platforms, enhances resilience and boosts happiness while giving participants tools and resources to thrive at work and in their personal lives. “In the midst of all of this chaos and turbulence, I am feeling centered and calm” said Julie Mahoney, participant. “Now, meditation is becoming a regular practice and I feel the benefits, which last all day long. I credit Work of Art for that.”

WashU Wellness Connection participants logged more than 32,600 emotional well-being activities throughout the campaign, resulting in significant gains in Flourishing Scale scores. “We want to know the investments we’re making in our employees are having a positive impact,” confirms Emily Page. “With everyone’s life disrupted by COVID and the lingering uncertainty, we don’t want to just add more noise.” 

Work of Art takes advantage of social support techniques including teams, buddies, and an interactive message board. In addition to choosing their priorities from 20 emotional health activities, participants can personalize how they experience progress — using photos of family, friends, pets, and special places to create unique works of art. They can share completed artwork in a virtual gallery for all to see, like, and comment on as well. “I just want to share that I have had several co-workers tell me how timely the Work of Art activities have been for them. They have been dealing with sudden deaths, COVID-19 scares, taking care of family members, and being the rock that holds their family units together. The activities help remind them to appreciate the little things in life” adds Karen Leingang, a member of the Wellness Champion Leadership Team. “Thank you for the change of direction in the employee wellness challenge.”

To learn about Work of Art, HR and well-being professionals can visit myWorkofArt.com

About WashU Wellness Connection

The Washington University Wellness Connection program serves over 16,000 faculty and staff, spread across 4 St. Louis campuses, plus satellite clinics and staff at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. The program is designed to help employees thrive at work and outside of work. For more information, visit WashU’s Wellness Connection at https://hr.wustl.edu/wellness-connection or contact emily.page@wustl.edu

About HES

Health Enhancement Systems created the market for workplace wellness campaigns in 1994. The company serves some of the largest corporations, health plans, universities, health systems, and membership organizations throughout North America and across the globe with 500+ implementations each year, directly and through industry-leading partners.


Tiffany Kayar


Source: Health Enhancement Systems