Why Complete a Employee Wellness Plan Environment Assessment?
The purpose of completing the assessment is to establish your worksite’s strengths and areas in need of improvement. The assessment will lead your workgroup to recommend actions for changes to make the worksite more supportive of healthy behaviors (i.e. healthy food choices in snack machines, policies to enforce no tobacco use on worksite grounds or encouraging walking during break times).
You may find some of the actions for supporting healthy behaviors are easy to do and others may not be feasible or efficient in your worksite. The assessment results can also be used as a baseline measure for evaluation. The initial assessment can later be compared with a follow-up assessment several months later to note progress.
Who should do the Employee Wellness Plan Environment Assessment?
Establish a workgroup (at least 4-5 employees) who will be responsible for completing the assessment. This may be a subset of your wellness workgroup. Forming a diverse group from all areas and levels of your corporation is important for meaningful assessment and successful planning and implementation. Suggested members include: human resources, employees from various departments, administrators, supervisors, staff member or wellness staff.
When should the Employee Wellness Plan Environment Assessment be Done?
Use the assessment as a starting point for your Employee Wellness Program. Once you have completed the assessment, determine which areas the workgroup will focus on (i.e. healthy eating, physical activity, general health, etc.). Create a time for the workgroup to meet and monitor the progress. Also determine a schedule for annual assessments, so that the assessment can serve as a tool for continuous improvement and accountability over time.
Part 1 – Employee Wellness Plan Assessment Checklist
Complete a Worksite Wellness Assessment Checklist to determine what wellness components you currently have at your worksite. This can be done with the full workgroup or you may want a few key personnel (such as the Human Resources lead, Wellness Coordinator or Workgroup Coordinator) to do a preliminary scan based on information they gather and then let the full workgroup react to their findings. Ask your broker for a sample wellness assessment checklist or create your own.
Completion of the checklist provides a reference point of the wellness functions that are currently in place or in process and it provides an overview of some of the items that should be considered for a comprehensive Employee Wellness Program.
Employee Wellness Plan Checklist Components:
Categories. There are six major categories (General, Physical Activity, Nutrition, Health Screening, Tobacco Use and Emergency Response Plan). Each category has several questions that address what you currently have in place at your worksite.
Current Status. Initially, list whether you have the component (Yes), are in the process of instituting the component or you are planning for the component (In Process) or don’t have the component at all (No). At the end of each category, sub-total the number in each column and then total all of the categories at the end of the checklist to get an overview of where your worksite Employee Wellness Plan currently rates. You should also use this baseline measure as a benchmark for later evaluation. By evaluating where your worksite is on each wellness component, you will be able to get a general idea of your status across each category and all 57 items.
Potential Priorities. After you have completed the assessment and the employee interest survey, you can use the potential priority column to indicate what components you might want to focus on that are either currently in process or don’t exist. This can serve as a first testing of possible areas to focus on as you develop your action plan.
Part 2: staff member Input
Why would we want to do an employee survey?
You should conduct an employee survey to get a better understanding of your target audience (your corporation’s employees) and get an initial idea of their current health habits and interest areas. The survey can be tailored to your worksite and can be done in paper form or through the use of survey instruments on the internet or that can be purchased. You can create your own employee survey or ask your broker for a Workplace Wellness Needs and Interest Survey.
As was the case with the worksite environmental assessment, the employee survey results can also be used as a baseline measure for later evaluation. The initial survey results can later be compared with a follow-up survey several months later to note progress.
You should also consider engaging employees in focus groups or informal interviews to gather information on their wants and needs. This can be done either before or after the survey, or if you don’t have the resources to survey employees, you could use this method to gather information in place of the survey.
Whatever method you use to gather information, make it as easy as possible for employees to complete and submit the information so you get a high return rate. Consider offering an incentive or prize for employees who complete the survey.