It’s that time again…budget time. How’s your planning going?
As we all know, investing in employee mental and physical health and wellbeing is crucial.
When it comes to crunching the numbers and mapping out our plans for the up and coming ‘year’ ahead – it’s important to remember to mix things up, think outside the box and make sure that our programs stay fresh and front of mind.
So with that in mind, we thought we would put together our top tips to assist you with your planning and more importantly, your budgeting.
Whether it’s investing in Mental Health First Aid for your workplace or planning for next year’s flu vaccinations – now is the time to start thinking about it!
Check out our tips:
1. Use data to drive program and initiative selection
Take the time to dig through the data that you have been collecting. Pull out those old reports and look for common themes that have presented in your workforce. Review your employee surveys and focus on what is meaningful for your employees.
Successful initiatives are ones that are relevant, targeted and delivered at the right level.
2. Marketing, marketing, marketing
While you might have the best initiative in the world, if it’s not communicated effectively to your workforce, chances are you wont get the results you are after. Even worse, a poorly implemented initiative could actually have a detrimental impact on the objectives you are trying to achieve.
When implementing any type of initiative, be it safety, health or wellbeing, it’s important to communicate the why. Why is the service available, why should your team engage with the initiative and why will it make their lives better – for instance will their working environment be safer? Will they be better equipped to deal with a confronting situations? Will they have a better understanding of their health risks because of the initiative?
So when you are planning to launch your next initiative, make sure you stop and think about how you are going to communicate with your workforce.
3. Drip feed your initiatives
Throughout the year there are a number of different Health Awareness days – RU Ok Day, Movember, Health & Safety Month, Hearing Awareness Week, Melanoma March, the list goes on – in fact our colleagues at Healthworks have created a calendar of all Health Awareness Days in Australia, check it out.
When launching a new initiative, consider launching the initiative in parallel with a Health Awareness Day. In the weeks leading up to the actually day, there can often be increased hype in the media, particularly on social media. Taking this approach ensure that messages being delivered in the workplace are reinforced outside the work environment, plus there are often free resources available to help promote the cause that the awareness day is trying to draw attention too.
Once the initiative has been launched, its important to continue to reinforce the message, one hit wonders don’t change behaviour.
Keep drip feeding information to your team, host an UR Ok Day breakfast, run seminars with external speakers, adjust policies and processes to reflect your companies philosophy, discuss issues at tool box talks. You don’t have to change the world you just have to keep the message front of mind.
4. Budget & plan for the year in advance
While being agile and nimble is important, especially due to the fact that the needs of our workforces are constantly changing, it’s also important to plan out and budget for the initiatives that you wanting to tackle. Remember you can’t change the world in one day, pick a couple of key initiatives and implement them properly.
Plan out your initiatives, get organised early and consider how you will keep the message alive and front of mind through out the course of the year.