Planning for success: Creating a workplace health program – Part two

healthpart2 In this four-part series, we look at The Heart Foundation’s ten point plan for preparing, planning and delivering an effective workplace health program. You can read part 1 here and part 3 here.

In our last post we looked at preparing the ground for your new workplace health program by getting your leadership team on board, identifying your needs and deciding roles and responsibilities. Now it’s time to create a plan for action.

Before you begin, be aware that your plan should be short, sharp and practical in nature. NFP organisations and their employees are always overworked and under-resourced and because of this many lengthy plans sit on shelves gathering dust.

In short, you want a plan to follow the principles of SMART goal setting (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) with enough context to describe why your workplace health program is an important part of meeting your higher level goals. The trick is to do this without going in to unnecessary detail and boring your colleagues!

Setting your objectives/goals

First, look back at the needs identified earlier and use these as the basis for setting your program objectives. You will need to decide on the following parameters as part of determining what your objectives will be.

  • Scope: What is the scope of your program going to be? Who will be involved? It is great to target certain areas of your organisation and expand as needed rather than take on too much, too early and under-perform.
  • Outcomes: This includes both outcomes for the organisation and for different teams and individuals. Tell people what the benefit will be if you want their support.
  • Indicators: 
How will you measure your outcomes and determine whether your objectives are being achieved? This is critical to the ongoing success of your program.

What are you actually going to do?

If your objectives, outcomes and indicators are in place, it’s now time to decide what action you need to take in order to get there.

You should decide on actions that meet the needs of your organisation, respond to the interests and needs of your key stakeholders and be within budget! If you don’t have a budget yet, get one – there may even be grants available to help.

Your action plan should link together your objectives, outcomes, indicators and activities so that everything works together harmoniously.

Here are some examples from the Heart Foundation report that you can look to for inspiration. These cover the main areas of people, workplace environment and organisational policies:

Healthy Workplace Actions Of course with a little brainstorming, we’re sure you can come up with some even better ideas for your organisation!

Carrots and back-pats

Once you’ve got a plan, you’ll need to do a bit of work to encourage your colleagues and staff to participate. Some ideas for this include:

  • Achievement awards
  • Contests and competitions
  • Public recognition for those who participate
  • Merchandise like drink bottles or vouchers from local businesses
  • Associated lunches, morning teas or entertainment
  • Discounted membership at a local gym
  • Extra time off in exchange for participating
  • Gift certificates – again, local business might be involved here

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something your colleagues will find meaningful or you might find you discourage participation!

Get help

We’ve already mentioned that there might be grant or funding opportunities to give your workplace health program a boost, but it’s worth repeating.

Not only might there be a few dollars, but there are lots of other resources and support networks out there to ensure that you are building on the great work that others have already done. Here are some ideas:

  • Check websites of government agencies and NFPs that work in the areas of physical and mental health for resources, publications and templates you can use
  • Hunt down local resources available from sports clubs, gyms or your Council
  • Ask organisations similar to yours what they’re doing and share your experiences about what works or doesn’t.

Read Part 3: Make it Happen

For more information: Read the full report, “Ten steps to implementing a workplace health program

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Name *
  • Website