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How satisfied are workers with occ health?
Employee feedback is key
You might imagine that employees consider occupational health to be a valuable resource, and a tireless advocate for their health and safety. However, you won't really know for sure unless you ask.
Proving that employees are satisfied with the services they get from occupational health is extremely valuable for many reasons. Too often, though, evidence of this success is lacking.
"It is crucial to survey employees on what they want and need from a program," says Brenda Schanhofer, wellness coordinator at Miron Construction Co. in Neenah, WI. "Quite simply, if the program doesn't fit employee needs, they won't participate."
If workers dont participate, an occupational health program fails. "Employee feedback is a key driver in any successful worksite program," Schanhofer says.
She recommends these approaches:
Regularly survey the employee base.
"Make sure that the program continues to fit their needs without growing stagnant," says Schanhofer. She says that survey questions should be directed to all employees within the company, to ensure a comprehensive and accurate assessment.
Here are the most important questions to consider, says Schanhofer:
--How well the current initiatives fit their needs;
--What components might be missing that would enhance their personal satisfaction with the existing worksite wellness program.
Utilize a variety of survey tools.
These may include online survey software tools such as Survey Monkey or Zoomerang, and "even just good old-fashioned individual employee touches," Schanhofer says.
Don't ignore what you learn from employees.
Instead, use employee input to drive your strategic planning for the future of your prevention program. "If the employee response is valid and justifies a need for change or growth, it is essential that those steps are taken to support that," says Schanhofer. "If employee input is thoughtful and reasonable, but is not carried through into the implementation phase, that sense of ownership and interactive participation is compromised." The success of the program is then jeopardized.
Obtain personal stories.
"Testimonials are a tremendous grassroots way of showing the impact of the program on individuals," Schanhofer says. "Sharing stories with co-workers can provide motivation to others and show qualitative results."
The stories also serve as a boost for those who have done great things to improve their wellness. "The data that is collected can be used to create more resources, and also as validation that the program is accomplishing its goals. In our current economic climate, all programs are up for review," says Schanhofer. "It is essential that the worth of programs is demonstrated in a consistent and tangible way."