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Workplace Health


Review your report and identify common themes. It is now time to use the information you have collected and create a plan or blueprint for the development of workplace health strategies. First you need to identify key issues or findings based on the information collected. You may wish to have individuals from the workplace health committee review the information separately and then share their findings with the group to see if other people draw similar conclusions. Findings should be kept confidential until approved by the committee and other key stakeholders.

Rate the themes according to importance or priority. Once you have identified issues, you will need to determine priorities and resources. You will need to strike a balance between what the employee and employer can do. Think about how addressing this issue will bring you closer to your vision. Develop a list of issues from most important to least important.

Create an action plan. After listing and prioritizing key issues you will need to determine goals, activities, timelines and evaluation methods. Goals tend to be broad purpose statements (e.g., to increase knowledge or change behavior) and the activities will help accomplish these goals (e.g. presentations, safety training and policy development). Once evaluations methods are determined, it is suggested that an evaluation plan be created to monitor program effectiveness and use results to modify initiatives. For more information on developing an evaluation plan - Public Health Ontario - At A Glance: The ten steps for conducting an evaluation. When creating your action plan, make sure that it is short and easy to read perhaps in a chart format as in Sample Action Plan Worksheet (MS Word /PDF).

The programs should meet the needs of all employees regardless of their current level of health, literacy, ethnicity, social and skill backgrounds. The plan should have activities that raise awareness/education, build employees’ skills, and create supportive environments and policies. You will get the best results by using a combination of these three types of activities (Health Canada, 1999).

  • Awareness Raising - This involves activities aimed at raising employee awareness about a particular topic. It is important for employees to have accurate information in order to make informed choices. Examples of these types of activities may include: information posters and pamphlets; workplace health newsletter or email tips; activities that tie into special events such as “Weedless Wednesday”, Health and Safety Week, Cancer Month; and lunch and learns on topics such as physical activity or stress. 
  • Skill Building - Educating people does not always mean they will be able to adopt a new behavior. Providing skill building activities that encourage individuals to change their behavior are also very important. Examples of these types of activities include: ongoing training in the safe use of equipment; increasing employees’ participation in decisions affecting their jobs; providing seminars on conflict resolution, financial planning and time management; offering “heart healthy” cooking classes; and offering company wide challenges (e.g. physical activity challenges, or smoking cessation workshops). 
  • Building Supportive Work Environments and Policies - Supportive environments reinforce and encourage employees to develop skills and practice healthy behaviors. An employer who develops workplace health policies and strategies shows their commitment to employees’ health and well-being. Supportive work environment initiatives may include: providing preventative safety equipment (e.g., ergonomic chairs and computer stations, fatigue mats, weight-lifting belts); giving regular feedback on job performance; developing policies that encourage open communication; encouraging employee involvement in decision making, creating incentives for employees to become involved in on-site or off-site fitness clubs; establishing flexible work hours and other family- friendly work policies; providing healthy choices in cafeterias or vending machines; creating a 100% smoke free property. 

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