Through Workplace Wellness Ireland, I regularly promote the idea of long-term thinking when it comes to wellness in Irish businesses; it’s the main driver for the community. A long-term strategic wellness programme has the potential to shape behaviour change within an organisation; a one off initiative does not.
The long-term focus is also why I’m a big fan of the healthy workplace accreditations that have been launched in Ireland recently such as the KeepWell Mark from Ibec and Healthy Place to Work. The accreditations are fantastic for Irish companies that want to promote themselves as healthy places to work, something that is becoming increasingly important for attracting and retaining talent.
What about the individual?
What about the person that is leading their team through the healthy workplace accreditation process? Or the individual tasked with introducing or improving wellness activities in their organisation? Or those that simply want to learn more about this growing area? I believe we are missing an individual accreditation; one that can educate and empower Irish professionals to become wellness leaders at their places of work.
I plan on filling the gap.
The Future Irish Landscape
The role of wellness co-ordinator is fairly common in US organisations and I believe this is where we are going in Ireland. At present, an individual or a very small team are being asked to create and deliver wellness initiatives and programmes (on top of their day job) where they have little or no experience or training. I’m starting to see part-time wellness roles and the odd full-time role appear in some larger businesses which is a step in the right direction. Over the next few years more and more Irish companies will have dedicated roles in the area of workplace wellness.
I’m developing a training programme in partnership with Dr Sarah-Jane Cullinane from Trinity College Dublin to address the skills gap. The programme was borne out of the growing need I’m seeing for HR professionals and senior leaders to create, implement and improve wellness programmes in Irish workplaces.
Sarah-Jane and I have identified an 8-step process for workplace wellness programme development based on academic research, 30 years of US industry experience and our own experience and knowledge of the Irish marketplace. The training will run over two days (with a gap in between to allow for some practical work) with a final assignment for participants to complete and submit upon completion.
Having a workplace wellness qualification will be something of real value for the individual as this topic grows in significance for Irish businesses. I will also promote qualified participants into becoming mentors and facilitators in the Workplace Wellness Ireland community thus encouraging continuous learning even when the programme completes. Unlike the healthy workplace accreditations, this qualification will move with the individual from role to role and from company to company and I’m very excited to launch the pilot programme in early April of this year.
Are you ready to be Workplace Wellness Ireland certified?
Drop me a line to register your interest and to find out more about the programme: email@example.com
Yours in health, Brian
About the author:
Brian Crooke is a wellness consultant, speaker and trainer specialising in the auditing, development and delivery of workplace wellness programmes (such as Corporation Transformation) for Irish companies through his Office Worker Health business. He is also the founder of the Workplace Wellness Ireland community. In his spare time he is bringing free resistance training to every county and community in Ireland through his parkHIIT project