Wellness Program: Assess Employee Needs And Interests
What good is a worksite wellness program if no one participates? Not much – thus it is important to make sure that assess employee needs and interests with respect to worksite wellness programs. Failure to do so will likely result in a wellness program with low participation and little or no improvement in employee health.
Businesses of all sizes will want to address the following questions in determining needs and interests for worksite wellness programs:
- Are managers willing to participate in worksite wellness programs and encourage others to do so?
- What do they see as the benefits of worksite wellness programs for employees and the organization?
- What kinds of worksite wellness activities are they willing to allow?
- What is the level of employee interest in various types of wellness program activities, the most convenient times and places to schedule activities, and/or suggested organizational changes to promote a more healthful work environment?
Types of Wellness Assessments and Sources
Different wellness program assessment tools can provide different types of important information. Therefore, a worksite wellness program may benefit most from using each of the following types of assessments.
Worksite Wellness Program: Employee Interest Survey
Since worksite wellness programs are for employees, it’s a good idea to find out from them what approaches have the greatest chance of success. By distributing employee surveys you are listening to what your employees want, thus your actions will have better results. A simple survey made up of 10 or 12 questions can provide valuable information. For example:
- Discover how employees want to receive program information (e.g. electronically, strategically-placed bulletin boards, memos, etc.).
- What health components (nutrition, physical activity, tobacco) are they most interested in addressing and how?
- What types of groups might employees be most inclined to join (e.g. walking, yoga, cooking, biking, weight-loss, dance, martial arts, nutrition, etc.)?
- Which employees have expertise that may be useful to the program?
Check out the sample Employee Interest Survey
Organizational Health Survey
The organizational surveys are geared to obtain information on your organization’s environmental indicators from both managers and the general workforce. The surveys are comprised of questions that reveal the extent to which opportunities exist in the workplace to pursue and maintain a healthy lifestyle. A sample organizational health survey is available here.
Health Risk Assessment (HRA)
The health risk assessment is central to health promotion programs. It can help companies of all sizes identify their workforce’s problems and establish targets for improvement. Using the HRA, you can discover risk levels, determine appropriate interventions and measure results.
Health risk assessments help employees manage their own health care and allows companies to control their health care costs. Tools that can accurately measure risk levels and that can proactively channel individuals to appropriate, cost-effective interventions are invaluable. Please note that a health risk assessment is often called a health risk appraisal.
Worksite Wellness Program Assessment Sources
The following are just a few resources for finding additional assessment tools:
Click here to go to the next section of the Guide to Worksite Wellness Programs: Designing the Wellness Program