Once assessment has been completed, including the analysis of collected data, the next step is organizational planning for what programs, policies, benefits, or environmental supports will become part of the workplace health program.
Individual behavior change can be achieved through coordinated programs, policies, benefits, and environmental changes to the workplace aimed at employee lifestyle factors and health risks. These interventions need a workplace governanceThe infrastructure at the workplace to lead and support employee health programs. The infrastructure includes the management and strategic direction of the program that runs through all levels of the organization including leadership support, dedicated resources, a workplace health improvement plan, communications, and workplace health informatics and data. structure to provide the strategic direction, leadership, and organization necessary to operationalize the program elements.
Organizational strategies provide the infrastructure to ensure program objectives are achieved, employee health risks are appropriately managed, and the company’s resources are used responsibly.
Careful planning is critical to the program’s success. Building a program that is based on the needs of the employer and employees will put the workplace health program on solid footing and enhance participation and long term sustainability.
Program planningA process to develop the components of a workplace health program including goal determination, implementation and evaluation strategies. should be both strategic, including long term broad techniques to achieve program goals, as well as tactical, involving the specific actions or steps necessary to implement and evaluate the program’s efforts.
The overall program plan should involve:
- Systematic linking of multiple sources of data
- Ensuring confidentiality of employee information data
- Leveraging and building on existing activities with the goal of sustaining programs over time
- Diverse groups of individuals or organizations
- Multiple opportunities and methods for all employees to learn about and participate in the program’s activities
- Maintaining flexibility as needed
Workplace Governance and Planning Strategies
Workplace Governance and Planning strategies include:
- Dedicating senior leadership support to serve as a program role model and champion
- Identifying a workplace health coordinator, council or committee to oversee and manage the program
- Developing a workplace health improvement plan to articulate and execute goals and strategies
- Dedicating the resources necessary to execute the program
- Communicating clearly and consistently with all employees
- Establishing a workplace health informatics system to collect and use data for planning and evaluation
Tools and Resources
- Leading by Example: The Value of Worksite Health Promotion to Small- and Medium-sized Employers published in 2011 by the Partnership for Prevention provides best practices and strategies for creating or enhancing a worksite health promotion program as well as worksite health program descriptions from almost 20 small employers
- The CDC Healthier Worksite Initiative has developed a general resource guide related to planning a workplace health program
- Healthy Workforce 2010: An Essential Health Promotion Sourcebook for Employers, Large and Small published in 2004 by the Partnership for Prevention: Section IV: Planning a Worksite Health Promotion Program provides a 10 step planning process that can be used by any employer
- The CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed as part of its WorkLife Initiative the Essential Elements document which identifies twenty components of a comprehensive work-based health protection and health promotion program and includes both guiding principles and practical direction for organizations seeking to develop effective workplace programs. The Essential Element’s twenty components are divided into four areas: Organizational Culture and Leadership; Program Design; Program Implementation and Resources; and Program Evaluation
- The CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is developing a National Initiative on Prevention through Design (PtD) to minimize occupational safety hazards and risks by addressing health and safety needs early on in the project design and planning stages