Assessment of current individual health factors and environmental conditions is a critical first step toward developing a successful and effective worksite wellness program.
An employee health assessment can help you understand the various types of risk factors affecting employee health at the individual, intrapersonal, organizational and environmental levels. The health assessment can help you create or enhance a health improvement plan.
Key Questions that a Health Assessment Will Help Answer
- What are the key health issues affecting employees?
- What factors at the workplace influence employee health?
- What are the employees’ health and safety concerns?
- What strategies are most appropriate to address these health issues?
How to Conduct a Workplace Health Assessment
The depth of a workplace health assessment may vary depending on the size of your organization and the resources available. You can conduct the assessment informally through:
- conversations or interviews
- focus groups
- a call for input/opinions (such as a bulletin board, opinion box, email requesting ideas)
You could also conduct it more formally with an employee survey, health risk assessment or environmental audit.
When prioritizing program and policy interventions, consider current health issues as well as employee interests, and regularly improve the workplace health program.
Important Components of a Workplace Health Assessment
- Assessment of current workplace wellness programs (if any), physical environment and policies
- An employee survey to identify behaviors, health concerns, interests and types of activities or programs that could be implemented
- An employee health risk questionnaire and/or assessment [LINK to box below detailing HRA]
- Other data that could help with your plan development and goal setting, such as attendance records (including absence and reason), injury reports, medical insurance or workers compensation claims (if available)
The Northern California Center for Well-Being has more information on the difference between a health risk questionnaire and a health risk assessment.
Worksite Health ScoreCard (developed by the CDC) is a great tool for evaluating existing programs and is also a great resource for employers seeking inspiration and guidance on developing a new wellness program. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a section on Workplace Health Assessment.
Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Resources
- Use a Web-based HRA:
- Encourage employees to consult a healthcare provider for routine preventive care. As part of the HRA, suggest employees identify a primary care physician that they can follow up with to discuss the results and any follow-up steps they should take to improve health and/or reduce risk.
- Work with your healthcare insurer and your employees to integrate results of an HRA with follow-up visits with the healthcare provider for further education, medication or treatment. Ensure employees their information will remain confidential.
- Hire an organization to do worksite wellness assessments on-site.
- There are a number of online companies and consultants that provide HRAs as part of their consulting services.
- Check with local health insurance companies and healthcare providers to see if they provide this service.