Workplace health and wellness programs should be a part of the overall company strategy for a healthy workplace. Health and safety legislation and other workplace policies or programs can provide a basis for a workplace health (or health promotion) program. When setting up any program, remember to include training and other support (e.g., time to attend sessions) and choices where possible.
Remember that for health and safety programs, there are specific laws and regulations that must be complied with. Workplace health programs are a different from traditional health and safety programs because there is no legislative mandate. However, the purpose of a workplace health and wellness program is to offer a comprehensive health service for all employees. Therefore it is important to remember that employees are potentially exposed to a wide variety of health hazards or situations at work on a regular basis. As such, it is impossible to deal with workplace health / wellness issues in isolation from health and safety, and vice versa.
When planning the workplace health program, remember to be clear about your:
Generally, a joint labour/management committee is recommended. A committee has the advantage of being able to work with key groups at your organization, including the health and safety committee.
There are a few steps that an organization should follow when developing a workplace health and wellness program for the workplace. When planning to implement your program, one should recognize that every organization is different and therefore everyone's needs may vary too.
Have someone who is interested in taking on the role and being the contact point of the program. It may be a joint committee from labour and management or someone who wants to take interest in leading the project.
Like any policy, it will not be successful without support from senior management. After recognizing that this program presents an investment, it will make a difference when getting support from senior management.
Talk to as many people or groups as you can. Other people who can help, if they are not involved already, include:
There may be groups already established in many companies and may help you form a basis for your workplace active living program. Acknowledging these existing activities (for example, a group of people going for walks together at lunch) may encourage new ideas for your program, like a 'walkers mileage club'. Where everyone is encouraged to walk a little, but awarded with a points system that over a certain period those are awarded or acknowledged when attaining the most points.
You want to find out the employees:
regarding specific aspects of implementing a workplace health program. You can survey employees with:
You can also conduct surveys by:
It is crucial in finding out the needs of your audience before designing your program or policy. See a sample survey.
Based on steps one to four:
When delivering your program, make sure you organize your activities into such as:
Refer to our OSH Answers Samples of Workplace Health Program Elements for sample suggestions of workplace program elements.
Now it is time to communicate your program to everyone. Promoting your program can be done in many ways such as:
Formally introducing corporate policies that state the importance of the workplace health program are an additional essential step.
Now it is time to monitor, progress and track results of your program. Always know that there is room for change and improvement for both short-term and long-term goals. Make sure you:
Review and Evaluate your program:
Maintain the Program:
(Adapted from: Workplace Health and Wellness Guide. CCOHS)
Document last updated on February 2, 2009