June 13, 2017    

Working on Wellness Newsletter

Planning your Worksite Health and Safety Initiative

Fail to plan...plan to fail! Having a strategic plan improves the likelihood of success for your wellness initiative. According to results from a survey of MA businesses, 90% of survey respondents do not have a written strategic plan (annual or long-term) for worksite wellness. The planning step is a crucial stage of implementation as it helps to explain the "what, why and when" of the worksite wellness initiative. This plan helps to focus on the goal and empowers the organization to move forward to get things done to protect employees and advance safety, health, and well-being within your organization. 

Step 1- Prioritize health and safety topic(s):
Once you have assessed the health and safety needs and interests of your employees, use the information gathered to plan your wellness initiative to meet the unique needs of your workforce. The top health and safety risks and wellness interests of your employee population will help you decide which health topic, also known as program priority, you will focus your efforts on. Be sure to account for additional factors that might impact your health priority such as financial considerations, easy community partnerships, or the easy win.
Step 2- Establish Goal(s): 
Use your identified program priority (e.g., increase physical activity) to establish a goal statement that supports the program priority. The goal statement will help to focus the initiative for the next year. Goals are the long-term accomplishments hoped to be achieved from the wellness initiative and are more likely to be accomplished when they are realistically set, reflect the needs of employees and management, and flow naturally from the data collected. The following is an example of a wellness initiative goal based upon the program priority of increasing physical activity.
Goal Statement : Support employees in increasing their amount of daily physical activity .
Step 3- Develop supporting objectives: 
Objectives are the steps you will take to achieve the stated goal. The following are examples of objectives.
Objective Statement : By [insert date], 50 percent of employees will engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week, as measured by....
Objective Statement : By [insert date], make at least one change to the work environment to create a supportive environment that encourages and supports physical activity while at work.

Step 4- Choose appropriate interventions to support the goal and objectives:  
Select targeted interventions that will be implemented to achieve the identified goal and objectives. Interventions are specific programs, practices, or policies that will be implemented as part of your worksite health and safety initiative. 
Step 5- Develop evaluation plan:
The evaluation plan addresses how you will measure the success and effectiveness of the wellness initiative. Include both how well the initiative is working and whether or not it is achieving its expected results. This will provide feedback on what is working well and what needs to be changed or improved.
Planning takes time and is a crucial step in developing a results-oriented wellness initiative. This plan defines the details of what the wellness initiative will accomplish and how it will be accomplished.

The Healthy Workplaces Toolbox: Toolbox Highlight
To help you begin the process of assessing your organization's employees and environment, Working on Wellness  offers   a number of tools and resources available to you. 


Often a first step for initiating a new wellness initiative is for the Wellness Committee to develop the wellness initiative's vision and mission statements. The Defining the Vision and Mission for your Worksite Wellness Initiative document helps you define the direction your wellness initiative will take and what your organization wants to become as far as worksite wellness. 

Wellness program goals and objectives are statements of broad, long-term accomplishments expected from the worksite wellness initiative and are an important part of designing a wellness initiative. The purpose of the Strategic Planning Facilitation Guide is to prepare the Wellness Sponsor and Champion to engage the Wellness Committee in a collaborative, interactive process to develop goals and objectives for your worksite wellness initiative. 

A brand is a unique image that creates an identity. It may be composed of signs, symbols, designs and words. The Developing Your Wellness Brand document helps you give your initiative an identity; create credibility for your initiative; make your initiative visible; and position wellness as important for your organization.

Participant Highlight - Community Servings

Community Servings is a community-based organization in Boston that works to provide home-delivered meals to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses in Massachusetts.
After joining Working on Wellness in 2016, Community Servings successfully used the Program Development Cycle to inspire and implement improved wellness policies and staff services. During the Planning stage, Community Servings applied the results from their Needs and Interest survey to target specific staff health concerns including overweight/obesity, stress, and low fruits, vegetables, and grains consumption. For example, the following goal and its respective objectives were outlined to address a workplace safety issue:
Support employees in workplace safety and job related physical well-being.
  1. By September 1, 2016, host a seminar on improving physical well-being and reducing workplace injury.
  2. By September 1, 2016, identify and implement at least one targeted strategy per workplace area (Kitchen, Delivery, Office) that will assist employees with improving physical well-being and reduce injury.
From the Needs and Interest survey, Community Servings recognized that about 40% of their employees were regularly performing heavy lifting, pulling, or pushing. However, many employees also reported a lack of physical activity in their daily lives, placing them at greater risk for potential injury, disability, and work-related stress. 

Their Wellness Committee tackled this issue by evaluating the equipment and processes that could be adjusted to improve safety and well-being. They established a relationship with a local metal fabrication company, North Construction, to design new equipment to reduce the risk of injury for their employees. Through this partnership, Community Servings and North Construction developed a kitchen and delivery rolling rack that simplified the process of food delivery. Additionally, the organization provided an injury prevention workshop to all workers, and delivery staff were provided reflective gear.
While health and wellness are often a challenge for social service agencies, Working on Wellness allowed Community Servings to evaluate and create a wellness initiative that meets their own organization's needs.

 NIOSH Total Worker Health 
Webinar Series 
Free 90-minute webinars focused on worker health and safety

Upcoming webinar:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EST
Led by: Rene Pana-Cryan, PhD, NIOSH, Sherry Baron, MD, MPH, City University of New York, and Lisa Brosseau, ScD, CIH, University of Illinois at Chicago

Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts 
Annual Conference 2017
"Establishing a Culture of Health: Supportive Wellness Strategies to Measure, Engage and Inspire"

Tuesday, September 19 
Gillette Stadium
Foxboro, MA

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