5 Steps to an Effective Occupational Health Management
What is occupational health management? Health promotion, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), refers to „the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health.“ Therefore, every company has a responsibility to meet all the requirements of health promotion and implement all possible measures to support the health of its employees.
Occupational health management (OHM) includes all measures and structural changes that correspond to the promotion of employees' health. This also includes occupational health and safety - and the legally required reintegration of employees who have been ill for a long time.
OHM brings many advantages not only for employees, but also for the company itself. The performance and motivation of the employee’s increases and the costs arising from sick leave are reduced. The corporate environment is also generally improved and employees identify themselves more with their workplace as a result. In addition, there are tax advantages for companies - since January 1, 2008, the promotion of employee health is supported by tax exemption of up to 600 euros per year.
Aligning the OHM efficiently
Successfully establishing a good health management system requires the equal participation of management, executives and employees. However, managers play a particularly important role in this multi-stage process, as they usually act as a role model for the employees.
Here are 5 steps for a successful OHM in your company:
1. Establishing a common concept
The best way to create awareness of workplace safety is to establish it as a core value in the company. This step mainly involves managers, as they must reflect these values in word and deed. Management must direct the establishment, implementation and maintenance of OHM. However, it is not enough to simply place the responsibility on management. Just like with all safety culture issues, the involvement of employees is also crucial, for example by means of further training in the area of health protection or occupational safety.
2. Planning the OHM
The planning process is an ongoing and repeating process. By setting specific goals and objectives, management sets expectations for managers, supervisors and employees, as well as for the overall plan. Goals and objectives should focus on specific actions that will improve workplace safety and health.
3. Introducing and managing the OHM
Once you have conceptualized your occupational health and safety system, the following steps are quite logical - the system's implementation and commissioning. For the success of an occupational health management system, it is crucial that the measures focus precisely on the needs that were identified in the planning phase. These include company activities, health-promoting opportunities or further training on leadership, healthy working, communication or addiction prevention.
4. Monitoring, evaluation and adjustment of the OHM
Now it is time to monitor your OHM, evaluate its effectiveness, and make any necessary adjustments along the way. Set up regular monitoring appointments to make sure you are on track regarding to your plan. This part is about monitoring which measures have been implemented, looking at the data and evaluating how well you have managed to do it. Or even determining what you can do better or in a different way next time.
5. Regularly improving and supporting OHM
You must repeat and promote the OHM processes over and over again. The reason for this is simply that things change at work - hazards may change, your employees may change, legislation may also change, and much more. Remember that there is always something you can improve when it comes to health and safety.
Best Practices of OHM using the example of CQ:
At CQ, the feel-good factor and the health of the employees are the highest priority. Measures that aim to achieve this are, for example:
- Regular massage appointments
- Ergonomic workplaces
- Common lunch breaks
- Company health promotion (600€ per year)
- Team events
- Provision of healthy snacks (e.g. fruits & nuts)
- Enabling of home office
- Establishment of a trust team
- Conducting regular surveys on employees' satisfaction
Sustainable occupational health management is therefore a key factor for corporate success and the health and satisfaction of the staff. You too can take the five steps for your company - we will be happy to offer you support in our company seminar on occupational health management and give you a special sixth step along the way.