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Evaluate current resources

What do you already have available? In determining the resources required to deliver your programme across the company as a whole, consider what health-related services, benefits and interventions which you already have in place at your various sites and business units.

Most organisations will already have established in-house some of the elements, or potential elements, of a workplace health programme. Our Steering Group companies drew primarily on existing resources in the areas of occupational health, nutrition and communications, although an outside health services provider was recruited in one instance to work with in-house nutritionists to produce health information sheets for staff.

What is your workforce profile? The content and style of your programme or initiative will depend to some extent, on the demographic and geographical spread of your workforce, both across the company as a whole and within specific sites or business units. You will need to consider the potential opportunities and difficulties which this workforce profile will create for your programme or initiative.

Here are two of the challenges which our Steering Group companies encountered:

Building awareness of the relevance of health issues “Our employees have an average age of 29 and our challenge was to ‘hook’ our workforce on health and to reconsider some of the impacts of their current habits when they already considered themselves to be healthy but typically suffering from low energy levels

  • too busy a life style. So we

looked at ways of increasing energy levels, through eating

healthily, looked at lifestyles and how they could have an impact on energy levels, and looked at taking exercise to increase energy. On top of that we offered a ‘free health check’ to everyone (which we still continue with), so they could be made aware of issues such as cholesterol levels and realise that it is not an issue that you should only consider when you are older.”

Accommodating different work roles and shift patterns “Our production based employees and our office based people have different working patterns and therefore our provision had to vary. For example each year in Jan/Feb we offer free and confidential in-work-time ‘lifestyle assessments’ where employees where employees can receive a comprehensive MOT that looks at BMI blood pressure, fitness levels, diet and many other determinants of health. Recognising that production like employees cannot just leave the production line, we made a cover system available so that the assessments were accessible for everyone. Another example would be our Urban Walks leaflets – one was produced for the admin HQ and contained shorts risk-assessed walks that people can do a lunch time. This was not possible at the production site where most staff have to be available ‘just-in-case’ during their lunch breaks.”

Organise the support you need

Your programme or initiative needs organisational support in order to succeed. Steering Group companies reported that, where possible, they used existing facilities and in-house teams (e.g. occupational health, nutrition) with inside knowledge of their

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organisations to administer their programmes and initiatives. This helped to:

increase the cost-effectiveness of programme management;

ensure that programme roll- out and communications were integrated with ongoing processes and procedures and

enable the organisation to make effective use of lessons learned.

However, outside partners and resources were also used to:

provide accurate specialist information, particularly in the area of nutrition;

fund or deliver specific activities such as provision of health assessments, -to- lifestyle advice and employee training.

In-house communications and marketing teams provided crucial expertise and support in branding

  • particularly in developing an

effective look and feel - and communicating programmes (e.g. via company intranet, leaflets, display boards).

Identify what you want to achieve and how success will be measured

You should conduct an analysis of your organisational health- related needs and agree relevant key performance indicators which enable you to measure the impacts of your intervention on your workforce and your organisation’s performance.

Three types of assessment should be considered for your needs analysis:

An analysis of health-related statistics (depending on what structure is already in place and what information is available);

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