Ten tips for success

Man and women eating fruit in their workplace

Improving staff health and fitness has so many benefits, and joining Health at Work is the first step. Now it’s up to you to deliver a successful programme that gets results in your workplace.

Here are ten top tips for running a fantastic Health at Work programme, and you’ll find lots more advice in our handy Health at Work toolkit.

1. Get buy-in from the bosses

It’s vital to get support and commitment from senior management right from the start – it will make it much easier to implement your plans. Building a business case  can help you convince, and remind, the bosses of the value of workplace health.

2. Mobilise staff supporters

As the programme coordinator you’ll need to set-up the programme and drive it forward. But if it’s not your full time role you’ll need help to run it. Seek support from staff members to create a shared sense of ownership and to share the workload.

  • Create a working group of interested colleagues from across the organisation. The group should meet on a regular basis to maintain momentum and discuss progress.
  • Tap into the skills and interests of your workforce by finding champions for particular activities. You may find qualified instructors, high level sports players or people with a relevant interest or knowledge.

3. Tailor for a perfect fit

Your Health at Work programme should be tailored to suit the interests and needs of your workforce. A workplace survey  will tell you what kind of activities staff are most interested in, and what they perceive their needs to be. Include survey questions that will help you plan the practicalities, for example what time of day people are most likely to participate.

4. Make it appealing

Use your staff survey results, other feedback you’ve gathered, and our Health at Work case studies  to inform your choice of events, classes or campaigns. Create an exciting programme that will appeal to staff, and contribute to meeting their health and wellbeing needs. Try to offer a variety of activities to suit as many people as possible.

5. Blast off!

Holding a fun and high-profile launch event is a great way to get everyone talking about your workplace health programme. It's also a good opportunity to get feedback and ideas for future activities.

Try to harness people’s energy and interest on the day, for example by giving out pedometers and starting the Pedometer Challenge.

6. Run tasters

Taster sessions of the activities you choose are a good way to show that you’ve acted on staff feedback, to identify demand and potential teething problems, and to get staff excited about the activities.

7. Plan and prepare...

Successful programmes take careful planning, so start small and build on what you're doing over time. Make an action plan of events, activities and campaigns to help you stay focussed and prioritise.

Improve staff participation and engagement by timing your activities to coincide with relevant national campaigns and events. Our Health at Work Calendar will mean you don’t miss any opportunities to link with high profile happenings.

8. ...but be flexible

You’ll learn what works for your workforce, and what doesn’t work, as your programme develops – make sure you review your Health at Work action plan regularly and adapt it accordingly.

9. Measure and record

Incorporate evaluation into each aspect of your programme right from the start. Think about the things you can measure to judge the success of every activity. It’s vital to capture attendance, feedback, results and success stories because you never know when you will have to prove the value of your programme to secure ongoing funding and support.   

10. Promotion, promotion, promotion

Use lots of different methods to spread the word about your Health at Work initiatives. There are free Health at Work posters to download , but use email updates and your intranet too. Ask senior managers to encourage participation at departmental meetings or briefings, and mobilise your working group of colleagues to whip up excitement.

Give plenty of notice for events so people can set aside the time and arrange their work around it. Then nudge and remind people in the lead-up to the event.

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