In the previous issue of The Hardware Journal Brian Crooke, wellness advocate, trainer and owner of Office Worker Health, listed the first four steps of his eight steps to a successful workplace wellness programme. In this issue he brings readers the remaining four steps.
5. Choose the Interventions
Based on the accumulated data in the four previous steps, you can now choose the activities based off this information that will form the basis of your wellness programme and schedule these activities across the duration of your programme. Every initiative you choose should be as inclusive as possible. The target is always the majority, not the minority.
6. Strategic Communication
Strategic communications are an essential building block for those seeking to create and maintain best practice programmes. Once the interventions have been chosen, it’s important to market them appropriately to the workforce. Communications help employees answer straightforward yet important questions such as ‘‘how does the programme work?”, ‘‘where can I sign up?’’ and ‘‘what’s in it for me?’’. In short, communication is crucial to secure Engagement, and engagement is key to the success of the programme. Who the communication comes from should also be considered.
7. Cultivate a Supportive Environment
Do the company policies, procedures and practices support a healthy work environment? Everything from flexible working policies to the built environment to unwritten norms play a role in shaping the company culture. What foundations can you put in place to foster a supportive work environment for employee wellness?
8. Evaluate, Celebrate and Iterate
A workplace wellness programme is a living, breathing entity. As your organisation changes over time so too must your wellness offering. Measure as much as you can, track your progress over time, celebrate your successes (very important) and reiterate and improve your programme by incorporating the lessons learned from all of your failures and successes.
The biggest issue I see with workplace wellness in Ireland is that those tasked with creating programmes (who are very well intentioned I might add) bypass the earlier stages and jump straight in at step number five to choose the interventions.
What’s wrong with that exactly? Jumping straight in and choosing the initiatives at the outset without going through the initial steps is a pure shot in the dark and it does not give your wellness programme the best chance of engaging with employees and succeeding. In fact, it may already be set up to fail. Every organisation is different and will encounter challenges along the way however if you follow the eight steps you will significantly increase the likelihood of your wellness programme being successful.
The best companies in the world look after their people because they know that they will, over time, look after their business. Don’t get left behind!
Karen Kent, MPH, Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Enid C. Roemer, PhD, Aishwarya Prasad, MPH, MBBS, and Naomi Freundlich, MA. Promoting Healthy Workplaces by Building Cultures of Health
and Applying Strategic Communications. J Occup Environ Med. 2016;58:114–122.
Wellness Council of America: The 7 Benchmarks
About the author
Brian Crooke is a wellness advocate, speaker and trainer specialising in the development and delivery of workplace wellness programmes for Irish companies through his
business, Offi ce Worker Health. He is also the founder of the Workplace Wellness Ireland community. In his spare time he is bringing free resistance training to every county and
community in Ireland through his parkHIIT project. parkHIIT is a free outdoor interval training session based around bodyweight resistance exercises that he started in January 2018.