Resources

Activity Ideas and Kits – Organizational Culture

Have That Talk: Promote Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

The Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Standard has been available now for four years.  Some workplaces dove in, adopted the Standard and created a comprehensive implementation plan very early on.  Other workplaces are taking small, progressive steps forward.  Regardless of how fast or slow your organization is moving on this issue, a key [...]

Support Employees Who Are Pregnant or New Parents

Have you made your workplace family-friendly?  Choosing to have a child means taking a number of things into consideration.  One of those things is how well does the workplace support workers who are pregnant or returning to work after the baby is born.  Not every workplace is the same and their may be risks to [...]

Working Life: A Documentary Tool Kit about Mental Health in the Workplace

Sky Works Charitable Foundation, based in Toronto, has created a tool kit for workplaces to use that addresses mental health in the workplace.  The kit includes a 37 minute documentary video featuring individuals who have lived with a family member’s mental illness and, for some, their own.  Their stories highlight the different ways that workplaces choose to deal with mental [...]

Managing Emotions in the Workplace

As a manager, HR professional, union steward, and/or workplace wellness champion, you have likely encountered a colleague or employee who is experiencing strong emotions.  Whether they are angry, overwhelmed, sad, or frustrated, it is important to know how to interact with the employee in an empathetic way.  The research is clear that managers who show empathy, benefit [...]

Health and Management Leadership

Although the health and well-being of your employees can be tackled through lifestyle messaging around eating well, being active, quitting smoking, and so on, the greatest impact you can have on workplace health is managing your employees well.  The Canadian Centre for Management Development’s Roundtable on Workplace Well-Being produced a document that contains practical information and assessment tools.  One tool helps managers to [...]

Making It Work – A CMHA Program

With one in four Canadians dealing with a mental illness at some point in their lives, many of us can say that we know someone who has dealt with stigma and the desire to contribute to society but only meets up with roadblocks.  With proper supports, an individual living with a mental illness can be a valuable employee.  Be [...]

Family Child Care Fair (Kit)

The Family Child Care Fair is designed to introduce employees to the various organizations in your community that provide quality childcare and related services.  Attendees have the opportunity to introduce themselves to providers, discuss their childcare needs, and explore available options. Coordinators should host this event in a large, open area, where each childcare agency [...]

Stress Test (Kit)

A brief questionnaire that addresses the signs and symptoms of stress serves as an effective, convenient tool for employees who wish to assess their stress levels.  Test results that indicate an unhealthy level of stress may encourage employees to seek necessary services, such as counseling or other supports. The Stress Test is a basic instrument [...]

Capture the Moment (Kit)

Capture the Moment is a simple activity that provides employees the opportunity to share their favourite stress-relieving hobbies and past-times with their fellow employees.  The activity emphasizes the importance and variety of stress management strategies.   Employees who are interested in participating must submit a work-appropriate photograph of themselves enjoying their favourite activities.  Staff will cast [...]

Hobby Fair (Kit)

The Hobby Fair encourages employees to share the interests or activities that they enjoy outside of work with their fellow employees.  Hobbies and interests that are unrelated to work often play an essential role in good health.  Importantly, these activities help relieve stress. Coordinators should host this event in a large, open area, where each [...]

Tuning Into Workplace Culture: A Practical Guide for Employers

The Health at Work Committee of Peterborough recently published a resource for employers that addresses organizational culture.  The following is the Table of Contents for the Guide: INTRODUCTION SECTION 1:  Comprehensive Workplace Wellness SECTION 2:  Organizational Culture Basics SECTION 3:  Assessing Culture SECTION 4:  Assessment Tools SECTION 5:  Taking Action: Next Steps SECTION 6:  Strategies [...]

Relax Fax (Kit)

Group faxes, e-mails, memos, and newsletters are great ways of spreading the word about health-related programming in and around the workplace.  Use the fax machine to send a series of regular faxes or e-mails regarding stress management. Content can include information about stress, strategies for managing stress, and workplace or community- based opportunities for employees looking [...]

Assess the Health of Your Organization

If you’re feeling like the culture of your workplace needs some tweaking, consider doing an assessment to get a read on how things are right now.  There are many tools available but two that we recommend include the Healthy Organization Assessment (c) by Dr. Graham Lowe and the CMHA’s Culture Survey.  Read below for brief [...]

Organizational Culture Symposium – October 21, 2010

On Thurdsay, October 21, the Peterborough Health at Work Committee hosted a half day symposium on workplace culture.  Over 100 people attended representing 35 workplaces.  Below are links to the presentations made by Dr. Graham Lowe and Dr. Fergal O’Hagan: Creating Healthy Organizations Presentation (Dr. Graham Lowe) What Local Workplaces Told Us – Results from a Local [...]

Just How Stressed Out Are You?

Distribute self-screening tools to employees to help them determine their current stress level and shed a light on workplace triggers that exacerbate their stress.  Encourage employees to share the results with one another in an effort to reduce stress and foster helpful relationships.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Laughter is the Best Medicine

It’s true—laughter reduces stress hormones and provides a welcome emotional and physical release.  To encourage laugher and light-heartedness in the workplace, post a “Joke Board” where employees can submit their favourite work-appropriate jokes and puns.  Or, attach a “Joke of the Day” to memos and faxes.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Host Screenings of Fun, Work-Appropriate Films

Screen classic slapstick comedies by Laurel & Hardy, the Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers, or choose from among more modern films. Run the event in a boardroom or lunchroom and serve popcorn.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Casual Dress Days

Introduce a casual dress day of the week or month as a tool to reduce stress. Obtain support from management and publicize the day as a method to reduce stress.  Consider asking employees to donate a loonie for the privilege and then use the money for other wellness initiatives.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Encourage Employees to Assess Their Mental Health

Help reduce the stigma around mental health and encourage your employees to assess their status.  There are a number of free, on-line assessment tools that you could promote to your employees.  Here are three that we know of: Mental Health Works provides a free on-line emotional wellness survey tool that you and your employees can [...]

A League of Their Own

Encourage physical activity and athletics among employees by helping to establish workplace sports leagues or walking clubs.  As the employer, you are in a position to take the lead.  Reserve outdoor recreational areas, create rosters, and provide sports equipment.  Just make sure to offer a variety of options for employees of different ages and abilities. [...]

A Forum for Suggestions

Consider posting a suggestion box where employees may confidentially and respectfully make suggestions regarding how to improve workplace culture.  Coordinators may set up an electronic suggestion box using e-mail.  This strategy is only effective if management or the wellness committee acts on the suggestions.   Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services Department

Discuss Improvements to Workplace Health Programs

Small group discussions or informal meetings between employees, management, and union representatives provide opportunities to discuss wellness concerns and share ideas for improving workplace wellness initiatives.  Individuals who coordinate these discussion groups should take steps to ensure an open, non-threatening atmosphere and the confidentiality of all participants’ statements.   Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services [...]

Foster Mentoring Relationships

Initiate a mentoring program where experienced workers are partnered with inexperienced ones. Experienced workers can share their knowledge and act as trainers or consultants to new employees. New employees can assist experienced employees with learning new technological skills, and assist with physical aspects of the job. Locally, the Workplace Integration Centre has a mentoring program as well.  Visit Workplace Integration Program for more information.   In [...]

Support Employees Who Care for Ill Family Members

Provide employees with informational materials on healthy caregiving and the signs of caregiver burnout.  As a supplement to these materials, encourage employees to form a caregiving group where issues related to caregiving can be shared and discussed.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Offer Conflict Resolution Training

A major source of stress at work can be due to the conflicts we experience with a co-worker or boss.  Offer a session on conflict resolution so that employees can learn strategies for working with colleagues in a respectful, stress-free environment.  Ensure that managers have obtained advanced training in this area so they can assist in mediating conflicts. [...]

Communication Training for Supervisors and Managers

Managers—and, indirectly, the employees they supervise—stand to benefit from training that emphasizes effective, sensitive communication strategies.  Some of the topics that these training sessions address may include how supervisors should offer employees rewards and appreciation appropriately and how to effectively and sensibly assess employees’ workloads.   Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services Department

Active Workplace Teams

Form workplace teams or hold family events to support increased levels of physical activity as well as the development of healthy relationships between employees and between family members. Try bowling, golf or softball. Also, consider forming groups for activities like cycling, Tai Chi, regular daily stretching or aerobics. Encourage walking groups, dancing groups or recreational [...]

Meetings with More Informality

Consider making some meetings more fun and informal for relationship- building purposes. Open the meeting by showing a comic strip on a related topic (Dilbert comics are a fun option), or share a humourous quote or poem. A simple game of “catch around the table” involving a soft, small ball will not only help your [...]

Seek Feedback from Employees

Listen carefully to employees’ concerns regarding tense, uncomfortable, or hostile relationships at work.  This input may help supervisors, human resources personnel, or EAP staff diffuse the situation before it becomes critical.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Provide Staff with Outdoor Recreation Space

Encourage employees to use this space for physical activity before, during, or after work.  Given the size and suitability of the area, you may also want to provide sports equipment, such as soccer balls, volleyball nets, etc; or, encourage employees to bring these supplies from home. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Communication is Key

Keep employees informed and in the loop when it comes to workplace goals, plans, and decisions.  That way, employees know what to expect at work.  They feel a greater source of control over their work environment, and this can help reduce stress.  Plus, communication and transparency on the part of management often inspires similar behaviour [...]

Recognize a Job Well Done

Employees are the most valuable asset a workplace has.  Effective employee recognition enhances motivation and satisfaction, increases employee productivity, and contributes to improved organizational performances.  As a management team, consider creating policies that outline programs and actions that recognize employees for their service.  Both informal recognition (i.e. complimenting workers on their performance) and formal recognition [...]

Eliminate Ageism from the Workplace

Create an awareness program or seminar on ageism and its different manifestations in the workplace, emphasizing strategies to reduce age-biased attitudes and behaviours.  Source: Brant County Health Unit