Wheeling Walks Training Manual

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Chapter 10:
Working with Worksites:
Why Work with Worksites
Identifying Key Worksites
Identifying Key Contacts

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Why Work with Worksites?

The U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services reports, by the year 2010, an estimated 141-153 million people will be in the work force, spending at least one-third of their lives at their place of employment.  Therefore, bringing walking promotion programs into the worksite can be an effective way of spreading the campaign message in the community.  Not only does adding worksites to the campaign increase the number of people reached, but it also expands the diversity of people reached.

Worksite programs provide opportunities to reach employees and their families with motivation, information, skills, and supportive environments to enhance health through walking. Voluntary participation in worksite programs is often higher than in other community sites.  This is because programs at work are convenient.  Other benefits of worksite education programs include the potential to harness social support and social influence among co-workers and the opportunity for monitoring, following-up, and reinforcing the program.


Identifying Key Worksites

Make a list of the top 20-30 employers.  The Chamber of Commerce and the phone directory are good sources for identifying key employers.  For the best use of campaign staff time and resources, focus your efforts on two types of worksites:

  1. Largest employers in the community.  This will allow you to reach the largest number of people with the campaign message.
  1. Worksites with established wellness programs.   Worksites with established wellness programs may be easier to work with because these sites have a commitment to promoting the health of their employees and have experience with on-site health-promotion programs. The local or state wellness council can provide a list of worksites that have wellness programs or call or write the Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA) at 7101 Newport Ave., Suite 311, Omaha, NE, 68152, 402-572-3590, to obtain a list of local members.

Identifying Key Contacts

Worksite contacts should be able to speak and make decisions for their organization or should have access to the decision makers. A wellness director, occupational health nurse or physician, human resources manager, fitness director, labor-union representative, or other interested employee would be an appropriate contact.  After identified, meet with the organization contact to gain participation. 

  • Discuss your organizations background.
  • Give an overview of the campaign.
  • Discuss the importance of the worksite’s role to the campaign.
  • Discuss the benefits of walking for the employees and the community.

Be sure to thank the worksite representatives for their time and willingness to meet with you.  Let them know that you will send a follow-up letter and materials for the campaign programs.  (See Appendix 10A for a Worksite Meeting Follow-up Letter.  Appendix 10B refers to the 40-page Worksite Walking CHALLENGE PACKET that is  available in this manual or by requesting a copy from authors.)

 

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