Employees and the organization they work for can benefit from the promotion of workplace health issues, according to Jan Chappel, a technical specialist at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

Speaking at the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario annual conference and trade show in Toronto yesterday, she described seven steps to creating a successful workplace health program.

Step 1: Take ownership and leadership and get support
• Find people who are prepared, willing and interested, plus make sure they have some decision-making authority Also, consult with management if the initiative is employee driven and/or consult with employees, if the initiative is driven by management

Step 2: Get support from everyone
• Everyone can include human resources, the employee assistance provider, management, the union or worker representatives, medical or occupational health staff, and local health groups

Step 3: Acknowledge current activities and collect baseline data
• Acknowledge current or informal activities, such as weight management classes or group walks at lunch and encourage participation by arranging for the class at the office or posting walking routes
• Collect baseline data (i.e., absentee rates, employee turnover rates, accident rates, participation rates)before the program starts because it will be needed to track changes/trends or to determine the benefits of the program

Step 4: Key needs and expectations
• Find out the needs and expectations by gathering information either through interviews, a roundtable session, survey or a suggestion box

Step 5: Develop a detailed plan
• Identify what needs to be done
• Prioritize these needs
• Assess perceived barriers
• Set realistic timelines and targets
• Plan how and when it will start
• Plan how to maintain interest
• Know what resources you will need

Step 6: Put your plan into action
• Communicate your plan to everyone
• Vary the ways in how the program is promoted
• Formally introduce corporate policies

Step 7: Monitor, evaluate and maintain
• Monitor the acceptance rates, progress and results. Also, keep everyone informed of success and failure
• Keep track of rates such as absenteeism, injury, illness, compensation. And check participant satisfaction
• Maintain the program and use the evaluation results to help decide what next steps need to be taken

For more information from the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety, click here.

Health Canada also has information on workplace health strategies and the small business health model.


To comment on this story email craig.sebastiano@rci.rogers.com.

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

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