The when and how of selecting a service provider
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:
- Do they have professional indemnity or liability insurance?
- Do personnel have relevant and valid qualifications, such as a degree or accreditation with Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA), the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) or other accredited bodies?
- Do they have any client testimonials or a referee you can contact?
- Do they offer value for money services?
Other things to consider
You can take our online Workplace Health Check to find out how healthy your workplace is and what you can do to make it healthier. The results are emailed to you and will help you decide what actions to put in your action plan.
You’ll find useful fact sheets, sample policies, templates and strategies free to download online at www.healthierworkplacewa.com.au.
If you are using fee for service providers it can often be difficult to select from the many services they are offering. You may not be sure what to focus on or how it best fits with what you are trying to achieve. Healthier Workplace WA can offer guidance to make sure you are choosing services that will give you the best return on your investment.
- 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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