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6 Steps To a Healthier Organization

4. Develop a Plan for Workplace Health

Developing a Plan is as Easy as 1-2-3: Once you assemble a group of people together who are interested in organizing activities and promoting health in the workplace, it will be hard not to rush off and jump into getting started. STOP!; Don’t rush in. Your committee and your programs will be more successful if you take the time to create a workplace health plan.

A Workplace Health plan details how the wellness committee plans to address employee needs and the health of the organization. Print a copy of this sample template (PDF 31KB, 1 page) and start working through the steps below.

Step 1  Talk about:

Participation

Who needs to be involved, when and how?

Time

When can you start and how much time is available?
Are there any special dates or deadlines that are planned or that you hope to achieve?

Money and Other Resources

Know your budget.
Make an inventory of available resources and any associated costs.

Data Gathering
Identify available data to aid with the planning (e.g. information gathered from needs assessment, top drug costs, suggestion boxes, etc.)
Decision Making
Who needs to be involved, when and how will decisions be made?

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Step 2  Draft a goal and objectives

The goal is a single statement summing up what it is you are trying to achieve in concrete terms.  Sample goal statements include:

  • To improve employee satisfaction and productivity by taking a comprehensive approach to workplace health
  • To reduce absenteeism by creating a healthier organization
  • To promote company health services through awareness raising and skill building activities

Set SMART long-term and short-term Objectives. Objectives often begin with such phrases as:  “to increase”, “to reduce”, “to decrease”, “to promote”, “to develop”, “to establish”, “to facilitate”, etc. Objective should be:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time oriented

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Step 3  Identify strategies, activities, resources and target audience

A strategy is the way in which the change will happen. The sample template outlines 3 strategies:

  • Awareness Raising: activities under this strategy provide information for individuals to make informed choices (e.g. displays, newsletters, bulletin boards).
  • Skill Building: activities in this strategy help people get involved in changing their behaviour (e.g. presentations, classes, workshops).
  • Environmental Supports: write activities to help create an environment that supports people in adopting a new behaviour. For example: flex-time work arrangements allowing for work-life balance, policy guidelines that support and encourage physical activity in the workplace, create a walking club, offer healthy food choices in the cafeteria, onsite massage, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), etc.

Activities are the list of actions your group plans to do for your workplace to address workplace health. The list of activities is like your “to do” list. For example: host a health fair, book presentations addressing the parenting needs of staff, create an alternate work arrangements policy/procedure.

For each activity you will need to also define:

  • Target audience (e.g. employees, senior management)
  • Resources required and those available within and outside the organization (people, community agencies, public health department, materials, funds and time).
  • Time-line or schedule for the activity
  • Who is responsible for the activity
  • How you plan to evaluate the activity (e.g. participation and/or satisfaction with an event, page hits on a website, annual needs assessment/satisfaction survey, etc.)
Tips for a Success Plan

  • Don’t rush in. Take the time to plan.
  • Don’t try to do too much in a short period of time.
  • Activities should not be driven by the interests of the committee. Use information gathered in the data analysis phase of Step 3.
  • Meet the needs of all employees – regardless of current health status, education, background etc.
  • Take a comprehensive approach by addressing issues related to health and safety, organizational culture and personal health practices.
  • Consider having themes throughout the year. Monthly themes are extremely time-consuming. Consider quarterly or bi-annual themes.
  • Consider including an incentive or recognition program to support employee participation.
  • Use what you learn from evaluations to modify and revise your work plan.

Adopted From: The Health Communication Unit, Introduction to Health Promotion Planning.

Get Started!

Activity Ideas

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6 Steps To a Healthier Organization

Revised: August 10, 2015

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