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An assessment of employee needs and desires, either via a survey or focus groups or a computer-based health risk assessment (HRA);

A consideration of the nutrition issues that are a key concern for large numbers of people in the UK. Dietary surveys show that most adults in the UK eat too much salt, too much saturated fat, and not enough fruit and vegetables.

Our Steering Group companies used both health risk assessment data (often this was available from ongoing occupational health assessments) and employee feedback measures in their needs analysis. This encompassed:

Behavioural indicators of cardiovascular disease and lifestyle risks (e.g. cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity);

Physical assessments, including height and weight measurements, Body Mass index (BMI), blood pressure measurements, waist circumference/waist to hip ratio and finger-prick blood samples.

Employee survey feedback indicated that issues of concern included work-life balance and energy levels.

The general health and wellbeing KPIs selected by Steering Group companies included:

absence rates, length of sickness absence, number of ill health retirements, number of long term absence, rehabilitation opportunities, manual handling incidents, type of intervention;

uptake of services and attendance rates at health promotion events.

ARAMARK provide a number of health checks for employees including testing cholesterol levels

Additional KPIs suggested by the Steering Group which relate specifically to healthy eating included:

Drinking water consumption (if bottled water providers used).

Set your goals

Employee satisfaction levels with workplace eating and food preparation areas (staff surveys);

Attendance at information sessions/workshops about healthy eating, nutrition and cookery;

Awareness levels of healthy eating messages communicated internally;

Undertaking the needs assessment enables you to clarify and prioritise your goals for the programme. Areas which our Steering Group companies aimed to address included:

Improved awareness of healthy eating and health risks for employees, clients and customers;

Staff awareness of healthy menu options;

Health and happiness of employees;

Uptake of healthy food and drink options in canteens (till receipts and vending machine sales);

Purchasing levels of breakfast foods (if provided free in-house);

Weight management and poor activity levels.

Areas of expressed employee concern (losing weight, reducing saturated fats in their diets, lowering their cholesterol levels and improving activity levels).

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