The vision of EACH Social & Community Health is to build healthy and inclusive communities. EACH’s strategic direction for 2011-2015 is developing leadership and strengthening business partnerships to maximise preventive health efforts in the City of Maroondah, Victoria. The workplace health promotion portfolio is one strategy EACH has in place to reach priority populations in the community. Male, blue collar workers in the Bayswater North Community Renewal region is the priority setting cohort due to data indicated in the Australian Bureau of Statistics SEIFA Index (2011).
The workplace settings approach to health promotion is supported by the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2011-2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Healthy Workplace Framework (2010); the VicHealth Creating Healthy Workplace Program; and Healthy Together Victoria Workplace Achievement Program.
An integrative systems approach to workplace health promotion involves the combined efforts of employers and employees to protect and promote health of people at work by incorporating a range of primary, secondary and tertiary strategies. Systems thinking involves modifying the context within which workers exist rather than solely attempting to change the individuals themselves.
Ensuring success and sustainability of workplace health promotion requires integration in regular management practice and corporate policy, and should be coordinated by members within the work organisation. Strategies include individual directed measures in addition to addressing environmental, organisational, economic and social factors. Team work and organisational leadership must be core to the strategy.
The process of workplace health promotion involves:
- Senior leadership support
- Establishing a coordinating body
- Conducting needs assessment
- Prioritising needs
- Action plan development
- Implement the action plan
- Evaluating the process and outcome
- Reviewing and updating the strategy
As business goals and objectives vary, key workplace health promotion principles are to:
- Improve the work organisation and the working environment
- Develop health company policy and culture
- Encourage active participation by all involved
- Foster personal development, work styles and lifestyles favourable to positive health outcomes
- Ensure health promotion and disease prevention initiatives become integral to management practice.
EACH’s key focus of WHP is guided by the World Health Organisation Workplace Health Promotion Framework (2010) and systems change to support workplace health:
· World Health Organisation Healthy Workplace Framework and Model: Background and Supporting Literature and Practice, 2010, http://www.who.int/occupational_health/healthy_workplace_framework.pdf
· Health and Productivity Institute Australia Best Practice Guidelines, www.hapia.com.au/_literature_51087/HAPIA_Best_Practice_Guidelines
· Workplace Health Promotion: Case Studies for Creating a Supporting Environment for Health (Department of Health, 2011), http://docs.health.vic.gov.au/docs/doc/41285B6159A4E34CCA257926007CB912/$FILE/Workplace%20Health%20Promotion.pdf