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Nine 2 five health

The when and how of selecting a service provider

Posted by: The Happy Worker
Tags: workplace , health ,

We all need a helping hand now and again and workplaces are no different. One question workplaces will probably consider as they plan their health and wellbeing program, is whether to bring in an external service provider to offer specific expertise and to deliver some of their program. 

When to get help

Selecting a service provider will mean spending money from a precious workplace health budget. To ensure the money is well spent, there are a few points to consider:

  • Is there a free program available that could deliver the planned activities? Workplaces can access free support for everything from developing their policy on health, to changing the food in the canteen.
     
  • Is there a suitable free, online option? Individuals can register for free healthy lifestyle education through sites like My Healthy Balance or get together to do the stretching classes offered in the Videos for Workers section on the Healthier Workplace WA YouTube channel.

  • Is there clarity about budget and exactly what activities the service provider will deliver? It can be overwhelming considering the wide range of services they offer, so it’s important to establish these things before any meeting. Healthier Workplace WA can help workplaces decide what activities will contribute towards achieving the goals of a workplace health program.

  • Is there a low-cost option available? Not-for-profit organisations such as Diabetes WA and Cancer Council WA can provide education sessions, cooking demonstrations, competitions and risk assessments at competitive prices.

How to select a provider

Once it’s been decided that a service provider is the best option, there are a few important things to consider in selecting a reputable and effective organisation:

  • Are they a member of a relevant peak body, such as Workplace Health Association Australia?

  • Do they have professional indemnity or liability insurance?

  • Do personnel have relevant and valid qualifications e.g. are they an accredited dietitian or exercise physiologist?

  • Does the program they are providing have evidence demonstrating its success?

  • Have they delivered similar workplace health programs in the past?

  • Do they have a referee?

  • Do they have a comprehensive privacy policy for collection and use of personal health information? Their policy can often be accessed on the organisation’s website.

  • Does the service represent value for money? Always compare prices, sourcing two or three quotes. 

Other things to consider

Evaluating the investment in a service provider is important, particularly when making the case for further funding for activities. Give some thought to how this will be done.

Although it’s tempting, it isn’t always necessary to pay service providers to produce newsletters or promote a program. Healthier Workplace WA produces a free monthly newsletter template that is easy to adapt.

Promotion is more meaningful and effective if it’s done in-house. Gain the support of senior managers and ask them to promote the program at staff or toolbox meetings. This sends a strong message to workers that the organisation and its leadership group are serious about creating a healthier workplace.

Until next time,

The Happy Worker

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