Champion Insights – Barriers to engaging management and staff in BeUpstanding

Implementing a well-being program in a workplace can come with some challenges, one of which can be engaging staff and/or management in the program. As part of the national trial of BeUpstanding we are interested in learning what some of the barriers were in relation to engaging staff and management in the BeUpstanding program, a workplace champion led program aimed at supporting staff to sit less and move more in the workplace.

As part of the program completion survey that BeUpstanding Champions complete upon finishing the 8-week implementation phase of the BeUpstanding program, they are asked the following question: “Tell us about any barriers to engaging management or staff in the BeUpstanding program that you have noticed”.

The changes associated with working from home due to COVID-19, namely the lack of visibility and the lack of equipment, were identified as common barriers.

It’s hard to get everyone on board.  Working from home made it more challenging – less visibility.

Some staff were working from home during the program where they didn’t have sit to stand desks and fellow workers to encourage more movement.

A lack of time/being too busy, and only having support from some levels of management, were also common barriers reported by champions.

We had support from half of our management team, the rest remained quiet and/or voiced that they didn’t believe it was a good idea. The management team weren’t overtly visible in partaking in the program after the start up presentations.

Staff have felt they have been too busy… [there was] limited attendance to the engagement meetings.

Management did not actively talk about or promote the program beyond the initial workshop. It would have likely been more successful if the manager continued visible support as evident in the workshop.

Despite the barriers to engaging staff and management in the program, champions also reported how they addressed these.  Adapting strategies where possible to be more suitable to working from home, maintaining their own enthusiasm for the program and visibly showing their commitment to the strategies, and actively engaging and encouraging staff were just some of the approaches champions reported that helped to successfully implement the BeUpstanding program.

It has been an extraordinary few years, with fires, a pandemic and now floods impacting on how, when and even if we can work. Through understanding the common barriers, but also the solutions that workplaces used to engage staff, we aim to continue to improve our program to support worker health and wellbeing.

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