Senior management involvement in the Employee Wellness Program– Evidence of enthusiastic commitment and involvement of senior management helps staff members understand their businesses’ serious commitment to health. Workers need to perceive that their senior management, supervisors, and coworkers have positive attitudes toward health since these factors have all been associated with improved employee health status. Management-related factors have been shown to contribute more to success than the content of the intervention.
Participatory planning – A Employee Wellness Plan should be undertaken in partnership with the workforce. Workers from all levels of staff should be actively engaged in the health and management aspects of the project as well as all on-going processes of any Employee Wellness Program. Planning must also include processes for maintaining communication with all staff and building their commitment to the process.
Creating Employee Wellness Plan steering committees to guide interventions during the planning and delivery of workplace health promotion programming improves worker awareness, participation, and satisfaction. Employee committees can establish perceived staff member interests regarding educational programming, determine work site-specific characteristics that may affect the intervention or influence participation, and suggest the best methods for promotion and delivery of Employee Wellness Programs and activities. Ways to maximize staff member input and involvement might include interest surveys, focus groups, and peer counsellors.
Primary focus on staff members’ needs – A Employee Wellness Plan should meet the needs of all staff members, regardless of their current level of health and recognize the needs, preferences, and attitudes of different groups of participants. Program designers should consider the major health risks in the target population, the specific risks within the particular group of staff members, and the organization’s needs. In other words, interventions should be tailor-made to the characteristics and needs of the recipients. This means that different programs must be provided at different levels. Participation and commitment can be improved if a group of workers has the opportunity to address a specific modifiable risk factor of their choice.
Optimal use of on-site resources – Planning and implementation of Employee Wellness Programs should optimize use of on-site personnel, physical resources, and organizational capabilities. For example, whenever possible, initiatives should use on-site health and safety, management, work organization, communication, HR, and other specialists. Well-qualified external leadership may be introduced when in-house expertise is lacking.
Integration – An overall workplace health policy should be developed. The policies governing employee health must align with the business mission, vision, and values, supporting both short- and long-term objectives. These consistent policies must affirm the value of staff member health and a commitment to engage staff members in health enhancement. Employee Wellness Plan Strategies should be integrated into a company’s regular management practices and eventually should be formally incorporated into the company’s corporate plan with adequate resources attached to them.
Recognition that a person’s health is determined by an interdependent set of factors – Any Employee Wellness Plan must address multiple components of an individual’s life:
- the workplace physical and psychosocial setting;
- their individual resources such as social support, sense of empowerment, etc.; and
- their lifestyle practices influencing health.
Tailoring to the special features of each workplace setting – Employee Wellness Programs must be responsive to the unique needs of each workplace’s procedures, organization and culture. Integrating health behaviors and program participation into the existing business culture will normalize program participation.
Employee Wellness Plan Evaluation – Project management should flow through needs analysis, setting priorities, planning, implementation, continuous monitoring, and evaluation. Evaluation must include a clearly-defined range of process measures and outcomes as well as mechanisms for monitoring the impact of non-intervention workplace changes such as plant closure, major workplace re-organization, and new technology on staff health.
Long-term commitment – To sustain the benefits of the Employee Wellness Program, the worksite must continue the initiative over time, reinforcing risk-reduction behaviors and adapting the programs to ongoing individual, social, economic, and workplace changes.