Helping you - Otway Health & Community Services
Commitment to workplace health and wellbeing - 2012 Awards
Otway Health is a multi-purpose health service that employs over 90 staff with a range of skills and experiences. Our core business is the health and wellbeing of our community. The service incorporates Aged Care, Urgent Care, Acute Care, Child Care and Community Services. The Staff Health and Wellbeing (SHWP) program offers staff at Otway Health a variety of opportunities to participate in activities and services that aim to increase physical and mental health. Activities under the SHWP program at Otway Health include a staff social club, staff massages, health coaching and organised activity groups such as yoga, pilates and walking groups.
What motivated you to set up a health and wellbeing program?
The Otway Health Staff Health and Wellbeing Program (SHWP) was developed in recognition of the important role the workplace has to play in addressing the rising prevalence of chronic illness. Chronic disease places a huge cost on the healthcare and workforce systems within Australia as well as significant burden on quality of life, productivity and health (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012; World Health Organisation 2011). As a small organisation committed to the wellbeing of our community, we were well positioned to introduce a program that enables staff to participate in activities and experiences that foster health and wellbeing.
What does your program involve?
Underpinned by organisational policy, this multi-faceted program incorporates several interventions and opportunities for staff to contribute to and participate in, including -
- A needs assessment to enable facilitators to target and evaluate the program
-Worksafe Worker Health Checks delivered by RDNS
-The workhealth program; this allows staff to take 15 minutes of their work day to participate in an activity that fosters physical and/or mental health with the understanding that this 15 minutes will be reciprocated in non-work time.
-Staff social club which provides activities both within and outside work hours
-Staff massage program
What did you do to promote the program?
Promotion has included consultation with working groups and divisions across the organisation including the management team; presentations at all meetings; placing the program as a standing agenda item on relevant agendas, including the OH&S monthly meeting and Positive Workplace Team (PWT) monthly meeting; all-staff emails and in-house newsletter; posters; and developing a working group who act as champions of the program and promote it in their immediate work areas. The profile of the program is also raised when activities are scheduled at staff social activities. which provide opportunities for staff to see how the program can be relevant to them.
Who participated in the program?
At commencement, the program was limited to the workhealth component and has now been re-invigorated to encompass all of the above mentioned strategies. According to the most recent staff survey, since commencement, at least two thirds of staff have utilised workhealth time at least occasionally. As the revised program offers more options for staff, facilitators anticipate a greater uptake in the future and hope to see all staff benefiting from these opportunities.
What was the impact of the program and how was this measured?
The program commenced in 2008 and has been evaluated utilising staff surveys; participation rates; and feedback from staff meetings, email and during program delivery. The program has positively impacted several domains including staff satisfaction and physical activity rates. Evaluation indicated scope to increase relevance to all staff through providing a wider choice of activities and opportunities. Consequently, the SHWP was developed. Impact evaluation of the SHWP will utilise the initial needs assessment; staff survey at 12 months; number of activities; participation rates; feedback from various avenues including the working party, feedback during program delivery, staff meetings and email.
The publishing of entries on the WorkSafe Awards website and or/the granting of an award does not constitute any endorsement by WorkSafe Victoria of a product, method or service, or the occupational health and safety performance of the workplace. Monthly Champions must undergo expert review to progress through to the stringent validation and judging process and can only progress to the next stage of entry once WorkSafe are satisfied that the entry/entrant has met the relevant award category criteria and terms and condition of entry.