Element 2: Establishing a Healthy Workplace Committee – How to get staff involved
Creating a staff-led healthy workplace committee is an important step in planning and implementing a workplace health promotion program. This could be the formation of a new committee within the organization or it could be a sub-committee of an already established wellness, joint health and safety or occupational health and safety committee. Some organizations choose to establish a mental health focused sub-committee as part of an existing healthy workplace committee.
Healthy workplace committees lead to higher employee engagement, which in turn improves productivity and loyalty to the organization. Engagement can be heightened in many ways, such as by involving the whole staff in decision-making, communicating the management’s vision for the future and by creating time for positive social interactions between staff.
Members of the committee should be representatives of a number of stakeholders in the organization, such as front-line workers, senior management, union representatives and occupational health and safety representatives. When developing programming focused on mental health, bring in interested and available members from across the organization. It is important to value employees with and without expertise and/or a lived experience with mental health issues. Further, as many employees as possible should be made aware of and given an opportunity to be involved with the program planning process.
- CWHP Stakeholder Diagram, created by THCU. See http://www.thcu.ca/infoandresources/resource_display.cfm?resourceID=781
- Tools and templates for creating a Healthy Workplace Committee is in Appendix X, including:
- responsibilities of the committee;
- checklist for creating a sustainable and useful committee;
- templates for a healthy workplace committee’s terms of reference, agendas, minutes.