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A Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) Programme is a programme that your company provides continually to improve or maintain the health of its employees. The approach is holistic, and includes education, training and sustaining a workplace environment that promotes well-being.
Workplace Health Promotion is:
"A continuous process for the enhancement of the quality of working life, health and wellbeing of all working populations through environmental improvement (physical, psychosocial, organisational, economic), personal empowerment and personal growth."
World Health Organization, 1977
Healthy employees are more likely to be productive employees who are essential for successful businesses. Successful companies lay the foundation for a healthy economy and form the basis of sustainable development* in a country.
* Sustainable development: Building healthy public policy and providing supportive environments for health to continually improve living conditions, support healthy lifestyle and increase opportunity for well-being.
Since no two companies are alike, it is not possible to have a fixed formula for an effective WHP programme that will fit every company. There are, however, 5 guiding principles a WHP programme should be organised according to.
B. Overview of Steps to Developing a WHP Programme
A WHP programme will be effective if it is strategically positioned and well-organised. It also needs to be systematically planned, implemented and evaluated.
A WHP programme should be set in place in stages (as illustrated below) at your own pace, and according to the resources available.
C. Critical Success Factors for Implementing WHP Programmes
Companies with successful WHP programmes share the following factors:
Sufficient Management Support
By management support, we refer to the extent to which the management of a company would go to ensure its WHP programme succeeds. This usually involves directives and direct involvement from the management.
The WHP programme can ride on existing structures that have a stake in employee welfare, e.g. occupational health and safety, work-life and healthy lifestyle committees. Alternatively, a separate WHP committee can be set up.
Committee members should come from different levels, with junior executives as well as senior managers. They should also be representatives from different departments to ensure buy-in from different sectors.
In addition, there should be clear lines of reporting to ensure accountability.
Planned and Evaluated Approach
Planning increases the likelihood of achieving the goals of WHP programme. Evaluation allows you to recognise success and make improvements.
- A balance selection of different types of interventions - policies, supportive environmental measures and health education activities
- Mass and targeted interventions
- Coverage of four key areas of healthy lifestyle - physical activity, healthy eating, non-smoking and stress management
D. Essential Guide to WHP
To find out further details on WHP programme planning and implementation, check out the 'Essential Guide to Workplace Health Promotion: The ABC's of managing your organisation's programme'.
E. WHP Training Course
You may consider attending the Workplace Health Promotion Training course to acquire knowledge, tools and techniques to plan, manage, implement, market and evaluate an effective WHP programme.