Since 2019, DECIPHer and Healthy Working Wales have collaborated to create online health and wellbeing needs assessment tools to understand, inform and evaluate workplace health in Wales. The tools will launch this year.
Part of Public Health Wales, the Healthy Working Wales (HWW) programme aims to support and encourage employers to create healthy working environments, take action to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff, manage sickness absence well and engage with employees effectively. As part of the new HWW delivery model, it was envisaged that two evaluation tools would be created for individual employers to use together:
- An ‘employee’ tool to assess workforce health and wellbeing;
- An ‘employer’ tool to assess workplace readiness to implement health and wellbeing approaches.
A team in DECIPHer was commissioned as the evaluation partner to develop the content and format of these two tools through a process of consultation and pilot testing with Welsh organisations.
The objectives of this work were to:
- Explore employer views and needs in order to establish priority domains for assessment within the tools;
- Conduct a methods audit to identify suitable measures for inclusion in the tools;Create draft versions of the tools and pilot test them with Welsh employers and their employees to inform refinement and final design of the tools.
Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pilot testing of the draft tools was delayed until summer 2021. Prior to this, the tools underwent revision during early 2021 to incorporate relevant questions that take into account the impact of the pandemic on working lives.
Healthy Working Wales have started rolling out the employer version of the tools with their existing award holders and are in the process of formatting a web platform to host both versions of the tools and provide feedback to employers. Dr Jemma Hawkins, who led the research in DECIPHer, says: ‘We are working closely with Healthy Working Wales to support exploration of automated reporting functionality and how data might be benchmarked against national Welsh and UK data.’
Mary-Ann McKibben, Consultant in Public Health and lead for health and work programmes in Public Health Wales, says: ‘Our online tools will be pivotal to our engagement work with employers in the future. They will enable organisations to better understand the needs of their workforce and prioritise actions to improve health and wellbeing.’
On 28 June 2023, Welsh Government released a statement on Healthy Working Wales:
‘Healthy Working Wales will focus resources on a virtual offer, delivering new online functionality that will help employers to measure and improve their employee health and wellbeing strategies. Our online offer will include webinars, e-learning and targeted support and guidance for employers to action within their key priority areas.’
The full statement can be read here: https://www.gov.wales/written-statement-update-healthy-working-wales.
DECIPHer will continue to update on developments as they roll out.
For more information on Healthy Working Wales, click here.