Are you planning a work wellbeing project?

I have planned and implemented numerous work wellbeing projects. Even if each project is unique, some rules always apply. If you take into account the following remarks, you will most likely succeed!

Ove Näsman

1. Plan and implement the project together with the representatives of the personnel groups from the very beginning. This ensures that it becomes a joint project.

2. Emphasize that the project is an employee investment. Try to avoid the word “cost”.

3. When communicating with the personnel, always stress that the aim of the project is to develop work wellbeing, not to decrease sick leaves or raise the retirement age. For the management, you should stress that improvements in work wellbeing have positive impact on total productivity and profitability; in municipalities on effectivity.

4. The project group should have representatives from the top management, human resources, personnel groups, occupational health service providers and occupational safety and health group. In municipalities one member of the municipal council should participate. The group should have decision making power on concrete actions within the limits of the project budget.

5. Create a memorable name for the project. You may even consider organising a competition for the best name!

6. Both internal and external communications are very important. Local media is often interested in investments of this type. Visibility in the media also strengthens the project’s image.

7. The duration of the project should be relatively long, from 3 to 5 years. It usually takes several years to achieve concrete results of work wellbeing projects.

8. The top management must clearly express commitment to the project, even if it does not participate in the day-to-day activities of the project group.

9. The main focus of the project should be on improving work wellbeing, not on measuring it.

10. The Work wellbeing project should first engage those personnel groups that are already interested in the topic. You should consider voluntary enlistment to the project; it often guarantees a good start and a positive image for the project. Groups with negative attitude towards work wellbeing usually become interested as the project goes on.


11. Implementing the KivaQ method usually takes a year and a half (Workshop 1 to 2 days and 3 follow-ups half day each). The Workshop should be held outside the workplace to distance the participants from the daily routines; follow-ups can be held close to the workplace.

12. When using the KivaQ Questionnaire for the first time you should consider ordering it as a consultancy service. The following Questionnaires are then easier to execute using your own resources.

13. If the KivaQ Questionnaire in a large organisation is carried out on a work-unit level (= manager and team members), you should consider presenting the results to the entire personnel on department level only.

14. A New Questionnaire should be carried out before each Workshop and follow-up.

15. The middle managers are sometimes reluctant to participate. To encourage them you may consider asking them to read the KivaQ guide beforehand. It gives them an overview on the work wellbeing project.