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The business case for having a comprehensive workplace wellness program is easy to make. Workplace wellness programs play a crucial role in improving employees' physical and mental health and can save companies money. Employers with wellness programs may be viewed by current and potential employees as desirable employers with more ability to attract and retain talent. When best practices in workplace wellness are applied, comprehensive workplace wellness programs can increase employee engagement and job satisfaction, reduce absenteeism, employee turnover, and rates of accidents.

Mental Health

Workplace Mental Health and COVID-19

Learn more about Workplace Mental Health Promotion and COVID-19.  Explore topics including:


Awareness Raising Activities:


Education & Skill-Building


Environmental Supports

  • Book a training with CMHA-WECB on a workplace mental health topic. To book a training or for more information, please get in touch with mhp@cmha-wecb.on.ca or call 519-255-7440 ext. 234
  • Provide employees training on:
    • Mental health illnesses to help reduce stigma and discrimination
    • Roles and responsibilities regarding workplace harassment
    • Conflict resolution
  • Provide management training to recognize and act upon signs of distress in employees such as:
  • Work through and implement strategies from the Suicide Prevention in the Workplace Guide
  • Work to implement the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, recognized as a leading practice by the Health Standards Organization, that describes 13 factors contributing to (or threatening) psychological health and safety in Canada's workplaces
  • Use Guarding Minds at Work to assess and address psychological health and safety at your workplace
  • Offer counselling through an Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider
  • Make use of the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario's Return to the Workplace: A psychological toolkit for heading back to work.
  • The Mental Health Commission of Canada has tips for helping women return to work after maternity leave, a leave of absence, or an unplanned break related to the pandemic. 
  • Create a quiet relaxation room for employees
  • Encourage flexible work arrangements (e.g., compressed workweek or working from home)
  • Conduct a Stress Audit and make necessary changes. 
  • Encourage employees to take breaks
  • Create a process to acknowledge employee achievements promptly or seek employee input to make workloads manageable
  • Implement a mentorship program that connects inexperienced and experienced employees
  • Provide childcare or elder care services to help with work-life balance
  • Offer professional development opportunities

Supportive Policies:

Develop and implement supportive workplace policies around workplace mental health, e.g.:

  • Baby-Friendly Workplace Policy
  • Compressed Work Week Policy
  • Implement an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or Employee and Family Assistance (EFAP) Policy. Learn more about EAP Policies.
  • Employee Recognition Policy
  • Family Leave Policy
  • Job Sharing Policy
  • Mental Health Stigma Reduction Policy
  • Psychological Safety in the Workplace Policy
  • Reimbursement for Stress-Reducing Programs/Activities Policy
  • Telework Policy
  • Violence in the Workplace Policy
  • Workplace Harassment Policy
  • Offer benefits to all employees (e.g., vacation time, sick leave, health benefits)
  • Implement effective and accessible grievance procedures

Physical Activity

Awareness Raising Activities:

Distribute credible information on your workplace wellness bulletin boards, by email or on your intranet, such as:


Education and Skill-Building Activities:


Environmental Supports:

  • Introduce walking meetings
  • Invest in showers and change rooms to support physical activity and active transportation
  • Provide corporate or reduced-rate memberships to onsite, private, or local fitness or recreation facilities
  • Have designated areas available that are safe for physical activity (e.g., basketball courts or greenspace)
  • Have safe bicycle storage, such as bicycle racks or bicycle lockers

Supportive Policies:

Develop and implement supportive workplace policies around physical activity, e.g.:

  • A Walking Meetings Policy
  • Physical Activity Policy
  • Work-Time Allowance for Physical Activity Policy
  • Gym/Sports Discounts Policy
  • Active Living Subsidy Policy
  • Bike Friendly Workplace Policy

Infection Control & Prevention

COVID-19 Workplace Resources

Visit the WECHU’s COVID-19 Workplace Website  for comprehensive guidance for employers, owners and operators of businesses, and workplaces in Windsor-Essex County to assist with COVID-19 prevention in places of work.


Awareness Raising Activities:

Distribute credible information on your workplace wellness bulletin boards, e-blasts or intranet such as:


Education and Skill-Building Activities:

  • Host a Lunch & Learn education session, or training on:
    • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.  A "Germ Glow" kit can be purchased to demonstrate how easily germs are passed from person to person.
    • Use of personal protective equipment
    • Safe food handling
    • Preventing diseases relevant to the workplace (i.e., Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus for outdoor workers, or cholera and hepatitis A and B for workers travelling to endemic countries)
    • Diseases prevented by immunizations
  • Host an archived Healthy at Work webinar from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit:
  • Conduct hand hygiene audits

Environmental Supports:

  • Host an onsite flu clinic in the fall if current public health protocols allow.  Contact cdip@wechu.org call 519-258-2146 ext. 3200 for a list of possible flu clinic providers
  • Offer paid personal time for employees to receive their flu vaccine at a local pharmacy or clinic
  • Offer paid sick leave to reduce the spread of illness
  • Encourage employees to take sick leave if exhibiting the following symptoms: fever, cough, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Eliminate the need for employees to supply employers with a doctor's note after taking sick time
  • Place hand-washing stations and signs throughout your workplace
  • Supply alcohol-based hand sanitizer at workstations
  • Supply hand lotion to employees to help maintain skin integrity
  • Supply disinfectant wipes throughout the workplace to allow employees to clean surfaces as they become contaminated
  • Ensure adequate environmental cleaning products are used for high touch surfaces
  • Provide sharps containers for safe needle disposal
  • Provide open-topped waste bins to allow for the discarding of waste without touching the bin
  • Provide a refrigerator specifically for employee lunches and snacks
  • Provide personal protective equipment as appropriate, especially in First Aid Kits
  • Provide disposable gloves as appropriate, especially for those who handle food
  • Refer workers to community resources for immunizations if travel is required for work

Supportive Policies:

Develop and implement supportive workplace policies around infection prevention, e.g.:

  • Infection Prevention and Control Policy to assign an individual or team to identify and respond to concerns.
  • Influenza Immunization Policy
  • Immunization Policy to determine what immunizations are recommended as a condition of employment for new employees.
  • Employee TB Screening Policy
  • Post-Exposure to Blood and Bodily Fluids Policy
  • Needle Safety Policy
  • Workplace Environmental Cleaning Policy

Sleep

Awareness Raising Activities:

Distribute credible information on your workplace wellness bulletin boards, by email or on your intranet, such as:


Education and Skill-Building Activities:


Environmental Supports:

  • Offer sleep education programs for employees
  • Promote short naps during work breaks
  • Modify environmental factors, e.g. lighting, to promote alertness
  • Encourage remote working if applicable to allow more time for sleep
  • Consider fatigue and sleep-related factors in incident investigations 

Supportive Policies:

Develop and implement supportive workplace policies around sleep health, e.g.:

  • Set limits on the number of hours worked per 24-hour period and 7-day period
  • Implement flexible scheduling for employees

Healthy Eating

Awareness Raising Activities:

Distribute credible information on your workplace wellness bulletin boards, by email or on your intranet such as:


Education and Skill-Building Activities:


Environmental Supports:

  • Offer a variety of healthy food choices in the cafeteria, vending machines, at meetings, and special events
  • Provide a refrigerator and microwave in break areas so employees can bring healthy lunches from home
  • Provide credible nutrition information in the employee eating area
  • Reduce the sale of sugary drinks and sweets in the cafeteria and vending machines
  • Make water available by placing pitchers around the table at meetings or special events
  • When planning a fundraiser, consider ways to fundraise without food, such as donating to participate in dress-down days. If food is sold at the event, offer a variety of healthy choices

Supportive Policies:

Develop and implement supportive workplace policies around healthy eating and nutrition, e.g.:

  • Take Charge Workplace - Work with a dietitian from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit to receive support to create workplace environments that encourage healthy eating behaviours. Receive support to accomplish the following:
    • Engage with your organization to increase awareness and knowledge of the importance of healthy eating and supportive nutrition environments
    • Plan, implement, and evaluate changes to the food environment
    • Develop and implement policies that promote a supportive nutrition environment
    • For more information or to request a Take Charge Toolkit, contact cdip@wechu.org call 519-258-2146 ext. 3200

Injury

Awareness Raising Activities:

Distribute credible information on your workplace wellness bulletin boards, e-blasts or intranet such as:


Education and Skill-Building Activities:


Environmental Supports:

  • Provide adjustable workstations to prevent poor posture and strain
  • Rotate workers through several jobs with different physical demands to reduce stress on the body
  • Provide funds for employees to purchase appropriate and supportive footwear
  • Use signs, warnings, barricades, non-slip mats, or non-slip strips or surfaces when a risk has been identified
  • For outdoor workers, provide broad-brimmed hats, long sleeve shirts, long pants, UV protective eyewear and sunscreen
  • When possible, adjust work schedules to limit time in the sun between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Supportive Policies:

Develop and implement supportive workplace policies around injury prevention, e.g.:

Substance Use

Awareness Raising Activities:

Distribute credible information on your workplace wellness bulletin boards, e-blasts or intranet postings such as:


Education and Skill-Building Activities:

Host a Lunch & Learn education session or training:

  • Quit smoking options and resources, led by a TEACH (Training Enhancement in Applied Cessation Counselling and Health)-trained pharmacist or professional
  • Medication use, storage and destruction, led by a pharmacist
  • Cannabis in the workplace

Environmental Supports:

  • Provide pharmacist-supported smoking cessation program including quit medications.
  • If the employer offers a benefits package, ensure nicotine replacement therapy is covered.
  • Implement an incentive program offering a rebate to those who participate in a smoking cessation program/quit smoking and continue to be smoke-free for at least six months.
  • Allow flexible work schedules for employees to attend medical or counselling appointments related to smoking cessation.
  • Ensure work-related social events (e.g., holiday parties) are alcohol-free.
  • Provide management training to recognize impairment in the workplace, i.e., the online course Impairment and Cannabis in the Workplace.
  • Offer counselling through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider

Supportive Policies:

Develop and implement supportive workplace policies around substance use, e.g.:

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Last modified: 
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 10:56am