It is important for the overall workplace health program to contain a combination of individual and organizational level strategies and interventions to influence health, including:
- Health-related Policies Formal or informal written statements that are designed to promote employee health. Supportive workplace health policies affect large groups of workers simultaneously and make adopting healthy behaviors much easier. They can also create and foster a company culture of health. – are formal or informal written statements that are designed to protect or promote employee health. Supportive workplace health policies affect large groups of workers simultaneously and make adopting healthy behaviors much easier. They can also create and foster a company culture of health
Health topics addressed
+ - This health topic does not have specific health-related policy interventions outlined. However, the health topic may have other strategies and interventions to address it such as health-related programs, health benefits, and environmental support strategies.
Examples of health-related policies include:
- Policies prohibiting tobacco and alcohol use at the workplace
- Policies requiring healthy foods to be served at company meetings and events
- Policies allowing for flextime Allows employees to shift their work schedules, such as coming in earlier or later or taking a lunch break at alternate times. Flextime can be useful in creating opportunities for employees to engage in health promotion activities such as physical activity during the day and yet maintain their expected number of work hours. to exercise or attend health programs
Policies that are not specifically health-related may have health impacts on employees. Human resources policies such as those related to work hours, leave (i.e., vacation time), flexible scheduling, work organization, and supervisory style should be developed with desired health goals in mind.
Workplace health programs are not add-on benefits but basic investments in human capital, similar to training, mentoring, and other employee development programs.
Regardless of which interventions are selected, the program should strive to:
- Use multiple interventions, such as combining a policy and a health benefit intervention, for a single health issue. Combinations are more effective than any one intervention alone
- Use interventions that address multiple health issues at the same time, which is more effective than addressing each single health issue separately
Tools and Resources
- The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) and the Society of Occupational and Environmental Health (SOEH) with support and contributions from the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the U.S. Veteran’s Administration (VA), AARP, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Public Health Association (APHA), and the Work and Health Research Center (WHRC) at the University of Maryland School of Nursing hosted a conference in 2009 titled, “Healthy Aging for a Sustainable Workforce [PDF - 1.2Mb].” The conference report generated several recommendations for Public Policy Options for an Aging Workforce which can be found on pages 9-12 and 38-44 of the report