Checklist: Developing an Occupational Health Scheme
Developing an occupational health scheme is in the interest of both the company and the employees. By encouraging people to take control of their physical and mental health, they will feel better, be more productive and less likely to take time off work.
If you are going to develop an occupational health scheme you need to do it well so it is as effective as possible. Take the time to do you research, engage the right people and follow up on the results.
1)Establish Your Company’s Current Occupational HealthTo make sure that you put the right measures in place you first need to work out what is needed. Evaluate your employee absence records to find out how many days people are taking off and for what reasons.
It can also be useful to send questionnaires to employees and hold focus groups to find out what there concerns are and what you could do to help. Seek advice from professionals and see what other companies have done.
2)Create a SchemeOnce you have done your research to find out what is needed you can start to a put a scheme together. As well as analysing your employees you also need to think about your time constraints, budget and finding the right experts to help you. Don’t rush into it. The more in depth you plan your scheme, the better results you will see. Brainstorm your ideas and ask for input from different departments and different levels in the company.
3)Promote the SchemeThere is no point spending the time and money to put an occupational health scheme in place if none of your employees know about it. Leave plenty of time before your first session to get the work out. Put up posters, writer about it on the intranet or in newsletters and get managers to pass on the information. It is also worth thinking about giving employees incentives to join in, whether it is an afternoon not working, free treatments or financial incentives.
4)Assess and AdjustThings such as occupational schemes can take time to get right. Once you have put it in place and got employees to attend you need to find some feedback so you can monitor its success. Ask employees to share their thoughts on what was good and bad about it. Also, over a period of time, analyse your absence figures to find out if it has had an affect in the amount of sick days that people take.
Putting an occupational health scheme in place is a great idea but to make it work well you need to take time to make sure it suits your employees. Find out what affects your absence rates and what your employees would benefit from. Seek professional advice and develop a number of ideas before deciding. Then, make sure that the scheme is promoted and once you have got employees to take part, get feedback from them and see how it affects company absence rates.