Dr Jemma Hawkins
Dr Sara Long, Professor G.J. Melendez-Torres, Dr Kelly Morgan, Professor Simon Murphy, Mr Jordan Van Godwin
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the way people work and shifted the future working landscape, with Welsh Government’s long-term ambition for a third of Welsh workers to work from or near home (Welsh Government, 2020). Given these changes, the pandemic’s impact on health and wellbeing and Wales’ sickness absence rate, which remains higher than the UK average at 2.2% (ONS, 2021), it is essential to understand workplace health and wellbeing to inform future action regarding population health. Healthy Working Wales (HWW), a programme established by Welsh Government and delivered by Public Health Wales (PHW), supports organisations to create healthy and safe workplaces and promote positive health and wellbeing.
Prior to the pandemic, work had begun to review and adapt the model of delivery for the Healthy Working Wales programme, including strengthening measurement of the impact and outcomes of the programme. To achieve this, PHW issued a call for proposals to identify an evaluation partner to support the development of online needs assessment tools for measuring workforce health and wellbeing and readiness of the workplace to promote health and wellbeing. Following the call, researchers from the Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer) were contracted as the evaluation partner to support this work.
DECIPHer and Public Health Wales (PHW) / Healthy Working Wales (HWW) have been working together to develop online health and wellbeing needs assessment tools to understand, inform and evaluate population health in Wales through the work of the Healthy Working Wales programme.
Aims and Objectives
Since 2019, DECIPHer and Public Health Wales (PHW) / Healthy Working Wales (HWW) have been working together to develop online health and wellbeing needs assessment tools to understand, inform and evaluate population health in Wales through the work of the Healthy Working Wales programme. It was envisaged that two tools would be created for individual employers to use together to inform their actions on health and wellbeing: 1) an ‘employee’ tool to assess workforce health and wellbeing and 2) an ‘employer’ tool to assess workplace readiness to promote health and wellbeing. Three pieces of work, funded by PHW, have been conducted to date with the following objectives:
Study 1 objectives:
- Explore the views and needs of employers in Wales to establish priority domains for assessment within the online tools;
- Conduct a methods audit to identify suitable measures for inclusion in the online tools.
Study 2 objectives:
- Create draft versions of the online tools and pilot test them with Welsh employers and their employees to inform refinement and final design of the tools.
Study 3 objectives:
- Explore the possibility of creating national benchmarks from established and existing sources of data to sit alongside data from the employee tool as a point of comparison in tailored reports from the tools that will be provided for employers.
Study 1: To inform the online tool content and design, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with representatives of Welsh employers, purposively sampled to provide diversity in terms of size, sector and industry. Thematic analysis was used to identify priorities and concerns for health and wellbeing across employers and feasibility of the proposed tools. Alongside this, an overview of systematic reviews of workplace health interventions was conducted to identify reliable and valid measures of workplace health and wellbeing for use in the tools which were mapped onto employer priorities identified in the interviews, along with additional measures identified through wider consultation.
Study 2: The content for the online tools was assembled in a draft format for initial testing. The measures were combined into an online survey format with the aim to test the tools with up to 200 employees across 10 organisations. Both tools were administered via Cardiff University approved Online Surveys software. Two tools were created; an ‘employee’ tool to assess workforce health and wellbeing and an ‘employer’ tool to assess workplace readiness to promote health and wellbeing. The key outcomes assessed within the testing phase included overall response rates, individual measure/item completion rates, assessment of floor and ceiling effects, validation of the factor structure of relevant included measures and qualitative feedback on user experience of completing the tools.
Study 3: This project uses desk-based methods comprising access and analysis of survey meta-data and data dictionaries, and consultation with survey design and analysis teams, from the survey sources of items used within the online tools. The data from these sources will be reviewed for suitability of creating a national benchmark to sit alongside data in the tool reports.
Further information and publications
Study 1 and Study 2 report is available here: https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/healthy-working-wales/reports/
1st February 2019
Study 1: £29,749
Study 2: £19,215
Study 3: £38,096