Leadership support in ANY employee wellness initiative is critical! Be sure to receive affirmation of the following before moving too far forward.
Is your worksite's leadership supportive of a walkable campus initiative?
Is your worksite's mid-level management supportive of a walkable campus initiative?
For employees, by employees is always the best way to implement any wellness initiatives at your worksite. Be sure to include a diverse group of employees with a cross-cutting group of representatives. Multiple-levels represented on your committee will help with the communication and positive messaging.
Is this initiative being undertaken by your worksite's wellness, safety, or other committee?
The following questions will assist your committee in thinking through all of the key access points to assure a smooth implementation!
Do employees have break time (i.e. 15 minute break for four hours worked) that can be used for walking inside or outside of the worksite during their worktime?
- Are there any limitations or policies that would inhibit employees being able to walk outside? i.e. Policy that an employee cannot leave the campus on a break.
Are they aware of the break time access?
- Has it been regularly communicated that employees can use their breaks?
- Are ALL managers/supervisors supportive of employees taking their breaks?
Employees that currently walk, what are the paths they take?
- What feedback can they provide you about those paths?
- Are there sidewalks?
- Do trees or brush impede walking on the sidewalk?
- Are there safe intersections/crossing?
- How do drivers respond to pedestrians when walking in the vicinity?
- What's the traffic speed?
- Is the area generally well-lit?
- Is the snow cleared regularly when applicable?
Identify paths inside and outside that can be done in 15 minute and longer segments to be reasonably walked on a break or lunch time break.
- Measuring/mapping options
- Measuring Wheel
- Google Maps (right click on the map and you can measure distance)
Are there bike racks?
Are there stairwells?
Are walking meetings a consideration?
What are other considerations for getting employees up throughout the day?
- Computer apps to prompt getting up throughout the day ie. Workrave.org
- Sit-to-stand workstations
- Walking workstations
- Move printer to a central location
- Regular promotions
- Monthly Poker Walk
- Chadron Community Hospital Poker Walk
- Healthy Parking Initiative - Cirrus House Example
Employees can't leave or don't always have someone to cover while they go for a quick walk( ie. School or County Employees)
Perception issues from community (i.e. Staff are out walking, not doing their jobs)
Liability/worker's comp concerns
Physical Environmental not conducive for walking or biking
Consider a company-wide email or all-staff meeting from your CEO/Administrator reinforcing the importance of employees having access to walk throughout the day.
Encourage mid-level managers/supervisors to communicate and reinforce the importance of employees having access to walking throughout the day at a regular department/staff meeting.
What messaging considerations do you have specific to your employee population?
What messages can you send about walking to anyone that is at your worksite? (i.e. Clients, patients, service-consumers, buyers, etc)
Postcards for placement at employee workstations
Cirrus House Example
Painted footprints (outside)
Set your "go-live" date for your walkable campus strategy and communicate, communicate, communicate!!!
- 23 and ½ hours - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo
- Got a meeting? Take a Walk - https://www.ted.com/talks/nilofer_merchant_got_a_meeting_take_a_walk
- Free computer app to encourage breaks throughout the day and regular stretching – workrave.org
- Page 7 of this document - https://www.acefitness.org/advocacy/pdf/Walking_Toolkit_Community.pdf has 52 walking fun facts. These are great ways to drop tidbits of quick information to people. Consider dropping in emails or printing a few and placing on bulletin boards and bathroom stalls to bring awareness of what you are encouraging with the walking initiative and then changing out every week or two.