How to Plan a Winning Workplace Health Program

Changes to the physical environment can have a positive affect on everyone within it. Last week we looked at what Harvard, Fitwel and WELL have identified as foundational components to address. This week we will continue to look at strategies that can have a greater reach and impact by taking a look at what it takes to earn a workplace certification or win an award.

A great way to generate ideas for your corporate health and wellness plan is to take a look at the categories award programs use to evaluate a great place to work. You can bet that those programs and strategies benefit more than those who participate in certain activities. And like Fitwel and WELL, an organization would not win an award for excelling in one or two areas – there would be multiple criteria on which they are being assessed. Let’s take a look.

Canada’s Top 100 Employers

Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition is entering its 20th year. During that time the criteria they use to assess workplaces has not changed. Organizations are assessed on the following 8 components:

  • Physical Workplace
  • Work Atmosphere & Social
  • Health, Financial & Family Benefits
  • Vacation & Time Off
  • Employee Communications
  • Performance Management
  • Training & Skills Development
  • Community Involvement

The assessment involves comparing businesses to other employers in their field to determine which offers the most forward-thinking and progressive programs. When you go to the website and click on the name of an award winning company, you can see their report card along with additional information for each component.

With 100 employers being named each year and judged on 8 different strategies, you should have no problem identifying new approaches and fresh ideas for your corporate health program.

Great Places to Work

Great Places to Work is a global organization. The history, products and services vary by country. Great Places to Work Canada has over 30 years of experience in consulting and culture research. They offer the following services: certification, consulting and recognition that includes publishing lists of Great Places to Work for categories such as:

  • Women, Millennials
  • Managed by Women
  • Technology, Professional Services, Financial Services & Insurance, Retail & Hospitality
  • British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Atlantic Canada
  • Best Workplaces Legends
  • Inclusion
  • Giving Back
  • Mental Wellness

Information about each company is not as transparent as it is for Canada’s Top 100 Employers but you can learn more about each by going to their website. A good place to start is to go to the Careers section.

Excellence Canada

Excellence Canada is a non-profit organization with a vision to “promote and enable excellence in every organization in Canada”. Originally named the National Quality Institute, it was founded in 1992 by Industry Canada before being rebranded and renamed Excellence Canada in 2010.

Many businesses are independently committed to organizational excellence (or claim to be). Excellence Canada’s certification program can validate this and highlight opportunities for continuous improvement. Winning companies are celebrated and recognized at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Excellence Canada has a Healthy Workplace Standard that includes:

  • 4 Drivers of a Healthy Workplace (Leadership, Planning and Programs, People Engagement, and Process and Risk Management)
  • 4 Elements of a Healthy Workplace (Physical Environment, Healthy Lifestyles, Mental Health and Workplace Culture, and Corporate Social Responsibility)
  • 4 Levels of Progressive Certification (Foundational, Advancement, Role Model, and Sustained World Class Performance)

Because this is a certification program that promotes and supports improvement, the tactics that are listed as examples under each driver complement and build on each other from one level to the next.

If you need to create a multi-year plan and want to demonstrate progressive improvement, contact Excellence Canada for additional information about their Healthy Workplace Standard.

Let’s Start Putting This Into Action

While going through each of the above programs and reviewing the award winning companies, it will be tempting to focus on activities and what the companies are doing. However, at this time I would like you to focus on how they are creating an award winning workplace.

Grab a couple pieces of paper. Here are a couple of activities to get you started (you can pick one or do them both).

1. Mind Map

  • In the middle of the page write Health & Wellbeing Program and then draw something that resembles a blue fluffy cloud around it
  • Next think about the components, drivers and elements of a healthy workplace (there are lots listed above and in previous blog posts)
  • Now pick several to write down on your paper. As you write each, scatter them around the Health & Wellbeing Program cloud while leaving room around the outside of the paper to do more writing later
  • Use a new pen colour to draw a different shape around those words (e.g. draw a red box around each)
  • Finally, draw a line to connect each box to the cloud

2. Blueprint/Logic Model

  • At the top of your page write Health & Wellbeing Program as a title
  • Now draw a row of bricks with spaces between them. Make the bricks large enough to write in
  • Think about the components, drivers and elements of a healthy workplace
  • Pick several. Write the word/phrase inside each brick

You could also use the mind map technique for brainstorming and then pick 3-5 strategies for your “bricks” to begin drafting your blueprint/logic model.

Until next week!