How WHP Works

Step 1: Raise the issue of health problems and their economic significance at senior management level. This should be the responsibility of a company manager, another expert or the works council.

Step 2: Obtain management agreement to integrate health promotion as a specific company target, taking WHP into account in all areas of company activity. This should take place in co-operation with the people representing the employees? interests, possibly on the basis of a company or service agreement.

Step 3: Establish a working group for health in the company. This group should be responsible for planning and steering appropriate activities. All key decision makers, representatives of interests groups and experts should belong to the group.

Step 4: Analyse the status quo. The above working group gathers existing data together by using the following methods or combination of methods:

  • developing a company health report by analysing anonymous absence statistics or statistics provided by the health insurance company on prescriptions for medication and the company ill health data,
  • conducting staff surveys,
  • holding interviews with key people in the company ,
  • carrying out work-site visits; observing and participating in working processes.

Step 5: Establish priorities by analysing the results of the status quo report discussed by the working group. It is important to define which of the health problems need to be addressed and solved first.

Step 6: Develop a mid and long term WHP programme. The working group sets specific targets and draws up a schedule.

Step 7: Establish and implement health improvement teams. The working group decides in which of the company departments the health improvement teams should take priority and co-ordinates the activities carried out by the project group which are planned to run for a limited period. The participants of the health improvement team (managers, employee representatives and other company personnel) discuss their recommendations for eliminating, or at least minimising the health strains in particular working sectors.

Step 8: The final team meeting ? listing and weighing up the recommendations put forward. Using a system agreed upon, the ideas for improvement produced by the health groups are evaluated by the members according to the urgency of the problem and the cost involved. Some of the ideas can be applied to different working sectors and processes, for example in changing physical, chemical and technical working conditions, work organisational processes, psycho-social working conditions and even the style of management and the working atmosphere. The ideas can also be used to support measures used for influencing employees? habits regarding their own health. The list of ideas is presented to the working group for approval.

Step 9: Evaluation of the activities carried out. By referring to the targets set out, the study group assesses whether the WHP activities need to be extended or adapted, for example if specific activities or types of activities could be applied in other departments of the company. It then arranges for decisions to be taken at the responsible level in the company without delay.

Step 10: Co-ordinating the implementation of the improvements agreed upon. The working group monitors the progress, assessing the outcomes in view of how they may influence future activities (continuous improvement process). It should also be responsible for ensuring that the company has a well balanced information policy on all aspects of WHP.