Government of Alberta
Initiative: The Capital Projects Division (CPD) “Sneak It In” Program
Number of employees: 310
Goal(s) of the Initiative:
The Capital Projects Division (CPD) within Alberta Infrastructure is responsible for the delivery of major government-owned building projects. Staff members involved with this Healthy Workplace Initiative came together from offices throughout the province, with the main centres in Edmonton and Calgary.
The goal of our “Sneak It In” initiative was to demonstrate Capital Project Division’s support and awareness that staff productivity is directly affected by both the physical and mental health of its employees. Therefore, to encourage all CPD staff, despite their workplace location, this initiative sought to develop and maintain healthy behaviours that can be easily integrated into our employees’ lives both inside and outside of the office during Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month.
What need was being addressed by this initiative?
CPD is currently on its way to achieving Gold Excellence Canada certification under the integrated Excellence, Innovation and Wellness® (EIW) Framework. Our Progressive Excellence (PEP) Team has been tasked with the mission to optimize the health and wellbeing of all CPD employees through education, workplace safety and encouragement of individuals to take responsibility for their overall health. The Sneak It In initiative was able to raise awareness of positive lifestyle practices and physical wellness habits that championed mental and physical health that could be easily incorporated into the workday. Sneak It In also sought to increase employee awareness of Capital Projects Division’s accomplishments in building great buildings for Albertans! Moreover, many of the key practices in this initiative sought to improve quality of life for employees and their families outside of the workplace, thereby affecting a positive change in the community at large.
How was the initiative implemented:
The Capital Projects’ PEP team developed a thorough plan before the launch, then led the administration, tracking, and development of the initiative to its full capacity. The “Sneak It In” program consisted of two facets of staff participation; the “Walk Capital Projects” and the “Healthy Workplace Bingo.”
1. “Walk the Capital Projects” Passports were designed to primarily promote physical fitness; track employees’ achievements; and increase awareness about the various schools, museums, hospitals, and other buildings being built and maintained throughout our vast province. New this year was the addition of other projects, initiatives, or committees being led by the various branches, which ensured that each branch was represented in the passport. Each page showcased a different CPD building, project or initiative with a specified distance that the participant would get stamped upon completion. This created an opportunity for employee engagement as staff had a chance to learn interesting facts about the work being done by their peers and co-workers and celebrate all that our division accomplishes.
2. During this month-long initiative, four Healthy Workplace Bingo cards were distributed with new initiatives each week ranging from stretching and walking exercises, to family fun activities, to stress-busting mental tips! Each installation of this program was directly aligned a different focus of Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month 2013 themes: “Safe Workplaces,” “Healthy Bodies,” “Supportive Workplace Cultures,” and “Fun at Home and Work.” The individual spaces of our bingo game were geared toward workplace wellness with a focus on safety, resilience, workplace culture, and mental health of CPD staff and their families. Each bingo square was a challenge or task that correlated into a healthy habit that could be easily integrated into the work day.
Participation in the program was completely voluntary. However, joining the initiative was encouraged as participants earned entries into weekly prize draws for each passport page and bingo-line complete. Staff competition was also stimulated within individual branches, as the best percentage participation would be awarded the golden “Sneak It In Sneaker” trophy and a healthy catered lunch. PEP Team members were identified as “Passport Offices”, in which staff could visit to ensure their participation results were maintained with the branch and divisional total.
The program was communicated to all CPD staff using our internal newsletter, staff emails and posters. Weekly updates were sent out by the Sneak It In administration team that identified branch participation percentages and leading staff. The overall monthly results were shared in the internal divisional newsletter.
How was the initiative evaluated:
Each week, staff participation was tracked and reported by our ‘Sneak it In’ administrative team.
In addition, a staff survey is currently underway for gathering objective evaluations and anecdotal feedback, which to date has been very positive!
The month-long initiative saw an overall staff participation rate of 68% (a 10% increase from 2012) with some areas showing over 90% participation! Six branches participated in this initiative, including senior executives and program directors – truly a communal effort for wellness. Participants of the program report being more aware of the need for positive psychological health and physical habits and invigorating lifestyle changes to feel great and perform to their full potential. Many employees took the lessons learned from the Sneak It In program and applied it to their families as well, helping our future leaders get an early start on health and wellness. Support and suggestions for future activities and initiatives like this month’s initiative are also being planned due to the overwhelming success of the program.
What is the approximate cost per participant: