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Motivation for employees to participate in workplace health promotion

According to the Luxembourg Declaration, workplace health promotion (WHP) is the combined efforts of employers, workers and society to improve the health and wellbeing of people at work. This can be achieved by: improving work organisation and the work environment; promoting the active participation of all stakeholders in the process; and encouraging personal development.

It is important to note that WHP aims to be a complementary support for, but not a replacement of, workplace risk management. Proper risk management is an essential foundation for a successful WHP programme. Regarding actual participation in WHP activities, the literature suggests that the number of participants often tends to be rather low once the WHP project is actually in progress. Therefore, it is pertinent to investigate how organisations are able to motivate their employees to participate in WHP activities in both the short- and long term. At the same time it should be kept in mind that employee participation in health promotion activities is totally voluntary.

The aim of this report was to conduct a review of the available literature to identify the motivating factors for employees to participate in WHP. This knowledge can be used to improve WHP programmes and, consequently, the participation rates. The findings section of the report is divided into two key areas. The first section outlines and describes some of the key findings from the literature concerning workers’ motivation to participate in WHP; and the second examines the contributory role diversity may play in worker participation and recruitment.

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