Factors influencing the development and implementation of workplace wellness programs in New Brunswick workplaces

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University of New Brunswick


This study addresses the lack of published information from New Brunswick, Canada on the range of workplace wellness programs and the factors that impact program development and implementation. The qualitative examination used a multiple case study design involving a purposive sample of 10 diverse organizations (six with programs and four without programs). The organizations varied by location, size, sector, and type of work. Data were collected through interviews, focus groups, documentation from the organizations, and field visits. The six programs varied in their mandate, organization, funding support, and work environments. All six identified management commitment as a key factor influencing program implementation; most collected little formal data on their programs. In three organizations without programs, participants were enthusiastic about establishing a program. However, barriers included lack of budgets, staffing, and other factors; the fourth organization was not considering a program. The results from this research were synthesized into a Framework for Comprehensive (or Best Practice) Workplace Wellness Programs to guide future decision-making. The three key recommendations resulting from this research are to: 1. increase management's understanding of comprehensive programming and the important role organizational leaders play in program sustainability; 2. identify and implement strategies to motivate workplaces to implement comprehensive programs; and, 3. strengthen knowledge exchange on workplace wellness.