Understanding The Problem
Research to date has found that the estimated economic burden of illness and injury in the workplace across sectors is growing at dramatic pace, 160 million new cases of work-related illness are reported each year. On average Canadian workers spend 10.5 hours a day at work and thus the work environment plays a vital role in dictating their health outcomes. Addressing this burden of disease, subsequent economic costs and most importantly the loss of human resources is a growing concern for organizations and governing bodies.
B4H conducted an extensive environmental scan to better understand the problem; it revealed that current solutions include occupational health and safety and workplace wellness programs, both aimed to provide a variety of supports and services to help manage and alleviate already existing symptoms. We found that organizations both in public and private sector face serious limitations in their wellness approaches to date because they focus primarily on alleviating physical symptoms, but do not focus on prevent psychological distress, which has become a top priority for employers since the release of the National Standards on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
Research shows that organizations that implement psychologically healthy and safe workplace strategies are on average better performers in all key performance categories from health and safety to key human resource measures to shareholder returns. Numerous factors play role in individual’s psychological make-up, but workplace plays big part in daily life.
Bridge for Health’s Wellbeing @ Work Initiative
In response to this need, B4H offers a social innovation research and consulting services to support organizations in designing healthy, inclusive and safe workplaces by:
- Using systems thinking and equity-centred design approaches
- Addressing the underlying factors (or root cause) of illness at work and
- Fostering engagement of employees and leaders through participatory practices.
Bridge for Health uses the Wellbeing @ Work Model as a core learning tool for its work.
Based on this model, Bridge for Health has developed a new training program for employers called Wellbeing @ Work Innovation Labs.
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