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Use these seven steps to develop an office wellness policy

by , 18 October 2013
Your employees are your greatest asset. Ensure you're at the forefront of managing your human resources by implementing a wellness policy. Follow these seven steps to develop one...

'A healthy workplace means more than just warding off colds and the flu. It's more holistic and takes into consideration the physical, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, emotional, occupational and mental health of employees,' says hrcouncil.ca.

The hrcouncil.ca adds that 'wellness promotion doesn't just benefit the employee, an organisation filled with healthy and fulfilled employees is a productive workplace that retains its employees.'

How can you do this in your company?

Develop a wellness policy.

Follow these seven steps to develop a wellness policy in your workplace

Step #1: Decide on your objectives and goals

Create a mission statement. In your statement, say why you're implementing the policy, its objectives and what you want to achieve.

Step #2: Assign people to plan and design your policy

Carefully select a team to design your policy. Your team must comprise of:

  • A senior manager that can make decisions and drive a new idea through your board
  • A manager who is aware of change management principles
  • Someone from the HR department
  • Trade unions (unions can help you drive the change)
  • An occupational nurse
  • A representative of each department and shift (it's important to have a broad representation of staff members)
  • Anyone who is a rehabilitated smoker, drug user or alcohol abuser (these employees will give you valuable insights and perspectives you may never have thought of)

Step #3: Sell the programme to your management team

The senior manager you have on board must sell the programme to the management team, or the executive committee, whichever is applicable to your organisation.

Arm this person with reasons why you want to embark on such a programme. Include research on the benefits of ensuring a healthy workforce.

Step #4: Establish what your employees need by asking them

Different organisations have different needs. Some companies have large numbers of employees with drug related problems whereas others have employees that experience stress due to financial mismanagement.

So find out what your employees need.

You can use the following to come up with the necessary information:

  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Focus group sessions

Step #5: Design a policy with all the necessary stakeholders

Ensure your policy has targeted programmes to address issues you've uncovered in your surveys.

But keep in mind that there should also be some general sections that address general well-being. These relate to:

  • HIV/Aids;
  • Creating and maintaining a discrimination-free environment;
  • Nutrition and exercise advice; and
  • A smoking policy

Step #6: Communicate your programme to all employees

Education and training must also form a vital part of selling and maintaining your programme.

Step #7: Trouble-shoot the process and improve where necessary

With these steps you'll be sure to develop an effective wellness policy.

Remember, 'companies that want to be at the forefront of managing people assume a greater role than simply providing employment and see wellness as the way to go when taking responsibility for employing people,' says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

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