Happiness and laughter in the workplace

So you’ve just been appointed to develop a workplace wellbeing program …

Pt 1 in an occasional series on creating and maintaining a GREAT wellbeing program.

So you’ve just been appointed to develop or re-develop your organisation’s wellbeing program.  Congratulations.  Everyone likes wellbeing programs – they’re  all about health and wellness –  it should be a breeze right?  You’ll create this program easily to the accolades of your boss and peers.  Right?  Or are you thinking – where do I start? What goes into it?  Where can I find the time among all the other tasks I have?

We meet many, many staff who, while well-intentioned, have never been given the tools or support. This is what this series is about – helping you create a great wellbeing program that will reflect well on you, improve the health of your colleagues and increase the productivity of your organisation.

Today we’ll tackle “Where do I start?”  To answer this you need to address these 4 issues:

Why does your organisation want to create or refresh its wellbeing program?

The answer to this will shape the program.  For instance if the reason is that there’s a problem with bullying then a wellbeing program will only help if you tackle the bullies AND teach your staff assertive communication.   If it’s stress than teach the staff resilience AND tackle the stressors.  What you don’t want to do is be in a position where you are being judged on issues you have no control over.

Management Imperative Your Approach
lower OH&S costs? find out what big costs are and target your program to reduce them
improve productivity link to business outcomes
retain staff what is making them leave?
attract staff better get some external publicity
tackle bullying good start but needs more than a wellbeing program
manage stress deliver resilience program AND change the stressors

Answering this question will also help you determine what sort of resources you can expect.  Will the program be home-grown or can you use external providers?

Who Will Support You?

Where did the idea come from?  Do you have top management support or will you have to get that.  Grab a pen, single sheet of paper and go down to the coffee shop.  Do a stakeholder matrix (15 minutes) then go through and identify all the blockers and drivers including the reasons people WON’T tell you about.  This is your strategic research.

Create a Coalition

Now go  out and talk to the people you will need support from.  They don’t always need to be higher up the chain – you’ll also want the support of your end-users – the staff!  Get your supporters  on board and  find out what you need to do to win over the others.  Then do it.

Timeline and Goals

Yep – wont’ take long. Spend 30 minutes setting some goals and a target date for launch/refresh.  You can change them later –the important thing is to have some milestones.

5 Things NOT to do

1.       Start without knowing where you’re going.

2.       Look for providers to “see what’s out there” before you have a plan – it’s time-consuming and confusing.

3.       Proceed without knowing the organisational drivers – this will tell you what support and resources you can expect.

4.       Do it on your own – include others.

5.       A “big-bang” plan – test your ideas early and often.

In the next issue we’ll discuss how to decide what should go into the program – and how to get it the staff’s own.

At Workplace Wellbeing we specialise in helping you create and implement effective wellbeing programs – programs that are engaging, cost-effective and successful.  We have a range of templates and advice we can give you – and an initial consultation is free. 

I’m really busy and value my time – I’d like to gain from your experience.

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