Department of Health

Healthy Workers Initiative

How to Improve your Program

call centreProgram evaluation can provide important insight into the success of the overall program and generate ideas for future activities. The outcomes of the evaluation can also be used to promote the benefits of your workplace health program within your workplace. Evaluation can be done both formally and informally. Any kind of feedback will help you understand what worked and what can be done to improve next time.
The approach you use to evaluate can be simple or detailed, depending on a number of factors including whether you have started small and plan to keep things small, or whether you plan to build your program over time.

Simple approach:

  • Regularly ask for feedback and whether the implementation can be improved
  • Encourage employees to keep a record of progress and ask whether they have noticed health improvements as a result
  • Measure changes in absentee rates
  • Ask employees how they felt the program or activities went
  • Keep a record of how many employees participated in activities and meetings

Detailed approach:

Why evaluate?

  • to be accountable to program stakeholders
  • to give feedback to employees who participate
  • to identify any problems that can be remedied
  • to determine if there are ways the program can be improved for the future
  • to assess the economic benefits of the program
  • to assess any health improvements that have been generated as a result of the program
  • to provide information for corporate responsibility activities
Evaluation should be planned before you begin and conducted during and after you deliver your program.

Plan your evaluation. Before the program has started, be sure to:
  • establish the purpose of evaluation and what indicators you will use to measure the success of the program
  • decide on when is the best time to evaluate the delivery of the program (process) as well as its impact and outcomes

Establish baseline data

It is a good idea to assess the situation before a workplace health promotion program is implemented so that any changes can be fully appreciated. The information collected in the needs assessment can be used to help create a baseline measurement.

Evaluate the Process

Evaluating the process looks at how well the program was implemented.
  • Ask participants how satisfied they were with the workplace health program
  • Ask participants what they liked the best about the workplace health program
  • Ask participants what aspects of the program could be improved
  • Ask those who didn’t participate what could be changed to facilitate their participation
  • Assess the reception of the marketing of the program
  • Measure how many people participated in the program and whether certain groups did not

Evaluate the Outcomes

Evaluating the outcomes should assess both the immediate and the longer term effects of the workplace health program with a focus on whether the goals and objectives set in the planning phase have been met.

Examples of indicators you could measure include:
  • Surveying changes in the awareness, beliefs, skills and behaviour of participants
  • Measuring reductions in illness related absences
  • Measuring improvements in productivity
  • Surveying longer term improvements in employee engagement and morale
  • Measuring improvements in supportive environments within the workplace, e.g. availability of healthy food options
  • Identifying policy level changes, e.g. implementation of a smoke-free policy or healthy catering policy

Recommend

The second part of the improvement process is to create recommendations from information gathered in the evaluation that can be used to improve existing and future programs.

Improve

The recommendations from the evaluation should be used to revise and update the program or develop new workplace health programs.

The improvement process is usually applied to a new action planning cycle, which means returning to the first steps and reassessing needs and reassembling health promotion advocates.

The recommendations should also be used to inform long term organisational strategies and ensure that the health promotion activities are sustainable.

Sustain

Sustaining your workplace health program is critical to the long term successful creation of a healthier workplace.
For sustainable health promotion programs, the workplace needs to nurture the initiative and the skills needed for longer term support, and to integrate the health promotion goals into the workplace’s ongoing strategies.

Nurture

Nurture the development of healthy workplaces by encouraging and supporting health promotion activities.

Ensure that there are incentives and/or sufficient recognition to reward participation and successful outcomes.

Invest in developing the skills required in the workplace to support the health promotion program including capturing the learning from each phase of the program to inform future phases and programs.

Integrate

Developing healthy workplaces requires commitment to long term strategies. In order to create sustainable health promotion initiatives that last beyond the current program, consider incorporating health and wellbeing goals into long term organisational goals and strategies.
Consider creating a health and wellbeing mission statement and policies that support creating healthier workplaces.

Sustaining Workplace Health Tools

Sample Health and Wellbeing Mission Statement

Sample Policy Templates