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Integrating health and safety can lead to greater employee well-being: Report

Campbell Institute recommends employers follow the plan do check act model

A new report from the Campbell Institute in the United States indicates not all employers are getting worker well-being right, and it could be affecting the sustainability of their business.

While many organizations today are focused on well-being programs that tackle smoking cessation, weight loss or nutrition, the Campbell Institute report indicates a more multifaceted approach to worker well-being can lead to sustainable, and even increased, employee health.

According to the report, well-being is where health protection (such as safety training) and health promotion (such as free flu shots or other immunizations) intersect. To get the most out of their well-being programs, organizations should consider improving the areas of highest risk to their team. These areas may include employee fitness and nutrition, but can also encompass broader health and safety issues, such as workplace fatigue, stress, overtime management and job security.

“There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to worker well-being,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute in Itasca, Ill. “Organizations are unique and so are their employees. If the biggest risk to an organization is employees being overweight, it might want to focus efforts on physical fitness. Or, if the highest risk for an organization is deemed to be worker stress, it might want to look at implementing a worker assistance program.”

The Campbell Institute proposes a systematic approach to assessing and addressing total worker well-being, such as implementing the plan do check act (PDCA) model.

Steps in the model are as follows:

•Plan – analyze information, solicit ideas and select best plan for improvement

•Do – implement the plan (either as a pilot program or fully deployed plan)

•Check – gather information to verify the desired effects of change are seen

•Act – sustain gains made and make course corrections as needed.

By using the PDCA model, employers can identify top problem areas and then develop intervention strategies at an organizational level to address those risks, the Campbell Institute said.

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