Workplace health audits
So you’ve identified your employees’ major health issues with a targeted PHA and you’ve got your leaders and employees all geared up and chomping at the bit for their fabulous new workplace health program, and now you’re all ready to go, right?
Not quite yet. There’s one more thing you need to assess, as part of the four step process of Prepare, Assess, Plan & Implement and Evaluate. You need to assess your organisational culture – the norms and values which might be holding your employees back from improving their health.
Think about it — you want to help your employees slower their stress levels, so you provide engaging valuable information on mental health, you organise seminars, you give them campaigns and activities to show them in easy steps how to improve positive thinking. But yet, back in the real world of their workplace, their manager sends them emails at all hours of the evening; they feel they have to work through their lunch break; and their request for a day off is refused yet again.
Such actions are all part of your organisational culture, and are often entrenched further by formal policies, or lack thereof.
An unhealthy culture can create real barriers and blocks for employees trying to become healthier and more productive.
How to assess your culture’s health
There are lots of different tools out there for taking a “culture audit” or analysing how innovative, or agile, or collaborative or [insert buzzword here] your culture is. But what you need, as the Health & Wellness, WHS or HR Manager, is a way to assess whether your culture is conducive to health.
Ideally, you want some guidance on things you should have in place that are proven to encourage healthy habits – physical things such as bike racks and fridges in the kitchen; policy things such as flexible work arrangements; or operational things such as a Wellness Committee.
At Healthworks, we looked all around a few years ago for a good assessment guide as to what makes a workplace healthy, and we couldn’t find one. So a while back, we developed our own Corporate Health Checklist – give us a call on 1300 90 10 90 if you want a copy of the Checklist.)