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Launching a successful worksite health program

This is an excerpt from Worksite Health Promotion-3rd Edition.

Some of the most successful WHP programs do not have expensive facilities, a large staff, or a hefty budget. However, an ingredient that most of these programs do share is WHP personnel who are committed to identifying needs, coordinating responsibilities, and applying appropriate resources toward achieving reasonable, well-defined goals. The checklist here includes a dozen features typically found in successful WHP programs. Program planners may wish to copy and use the checklist to see how well their programs meet the criteria.

Developing a program that includes all of these features requires careful planning before implementing the program, as well as regular maintenance once the program is under way. Worksites vary tremendously, so no guarantees exist. However, if WHP program directors possess at least 10 of the 12 items on the checklist, they can rest assured that their programs should appeal to employees. If you check fewer than 10 of the items, your program may need to be modified to better resemble programs that have been proven successful. For example, if a WHP program lacks a clearly established budget, decision makers should work to establish a protocol to ensure a dedicated budget for the program (see chapter 5 for budgeting tips).

If a program contains 10 or more of the dozen features, it is probably ready to be implemented at the worksite.

Plans for launching a successful WHP program include (1) developing a marketing strategy to make the program appealing to employees, (2) preparing employees to take action, (3) developing a health fair, (4) conducting employee health screenings, (5) managing risk and liability, (6) giving the program a trial run, and (7) determining appropriate rewards to build long-term employee participation.