Employee wellness should not wait for crisis to occur, but should begin during the hiring process. Wellness should include preventative programs aimed at both the professional and personal development of employees. Workplace experts advocate that by identifying healthy applicants and partnering to maintain employee health, the organization has the potential to improve morale and productivity and reduce complaints and liability. For companies that can fire, hire and train a new employee in half a day the long-term health of employees is negligible. For public safety organizations, with lengthy hiring processes and huge investments in money, training, equipment and reputation; it is imperative to identify “ideal” candidates and then work to keep them healthy.
In 2013, Safe Call Now searched the nation for an example of a successful employee development and wellness program that could serve as a model for agencies by providing education and strategies proven to reduce employee crisis. The search led them to Indianapolis where Captain Brian Nanavanty had established an innovative employee-agency program that in 4 years had intervened with over 500 law enforcement officers and had reduced performance related (disciplinary) referrals by 40% and increased the number of peer referrals and officers seeking voluntary intervention for personal and career distress issues by 300%. In 2015, Captain Nanavanty was named a finalist for the Destination Zero Award presented by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance.