Completing an environment assessment helps you identify how well your company’s environment supports your overall health and wellbeing program.
This assessment can help your health & wellbeing team recommend changes to make your workplace more supportive of healthy behaviors and total wellbeing. You may find some of the actions for supporting healthy behaviors and wellbeing are easy to do and others may not be feasible based on your culture or type of industry.
Taking action based on assessment results can not only influence the success of your overall health & wellbeing program, but should also be used as a baseline measure for future evaluation.
Who Should Do the Assessment?
Identify a workgroup of at least four to five people who will be responsible for completing the health & wellbeing environment assessment. This may be a subset of your workplace health & wellbeing committee or other volunteers. Forming a diverse group from all areas and levels of your organization is vital for meaningful assessment and successful planning and implementation. Participants could be HR professionals, employees from various departments, administrators or supervisors. Make sure to include new employees, employees with tenure, and employees representative of multiple generations.
When Should the Assessment Be Done?
Ideally, you should conduct the assessment as a starting point for your health & wellbeing initiative. Once you have completed the assessment, determine which areas the workgroup will focus on, such as healthy eating, physical activity, smoking cessation, stress, mindfulness, and noise pollution. If you have had a program in place for a while, plan to facilitate the assessment with enough time to review the results, propose recommended solutions, and create a plan to roll out and communicate your changes!
Establish a time for the workgroup to meet, so members can regularly monitor program progress. Also, determine a schedule for annual assessments, so that assessments can serve as a tool for continuous improvement and accountability over time.
How to Design a Health & Wellbeing Environment Assessment
Complete a worksite health & wellbeing assessment checklist to determine which components are currently in place and identify areas for improvement. The assessment can be done by the full workgroup, or you may want to assign a few key personnel (such as the HR lead or workgroup coordinator) to do a preliminary scan. Ask OneDigital for a sample health & wellbeing assessment checklist or create your own.
Assessment checklists should include the following items:
Consider using these categories: general health & wellbeing, physical activity, nutrition, health screening, tobacco use, and emergency response. Each category should include several questions that address what initiatives you currently have in place at your workplace.
Regarding your present wellbeing strategy, list the following:
- Yes, you have policies or resources in place to promote healthy behaviors
- In Process, are in the process of instituting the programs or resources
- No, do not have these components
Use the assessment results to identify what components you want to focus on that are either currently in process or do not yet exist.
At the end of each category, subtotal the number in each column and then total all of the categories at the end of the checklist to get an overview of where your worksite health & wellbeing program currently ranks.
Make sure to include policy changes in addition to the programs and resources to educate and encourage employees to live a happier, healthier life! For example, your company may have an onsite gym or mapped out walking trails, but if their manager discourages employees from leaving their workstation during lunch, the resources are not helpful. Policies that encourage stretch breaks, limiting back to back meetings, and requiring healthy food options at all company-sponsored events help to enforce participation in healthy behaviors.
Don’t forget to celebrate your progress along the way. Environmental changes can be hard to measure but significantly impact your company’s overall culture. It’s important to gather information from employees as part of your assessment, and in the coming months, we’ll provide strategies and methods for collecting this information.
For more information about how to conduct an environment assessment or if your organization is ready to complete one but is looking for support, contact your OneDigital consultant today.