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Check in here regularly for the latest updates on Healthy Workplace Initiatives.

Gathering Ripples: An Internal Environmental Scan on Healthy Workplace Initiatives in the Nova Scotia Government

This is the first snapshot of healthy workplace activity across the Nova Scotia public service and it demonstrates that in two years much progress has been made toward the statement in the corporate Healthy Workplace Policy that “the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to providing a healthy, safe and supportive workplace which will enhance employee health and job satisfaction, and enable employees to contribute most effectively in their roles of delivering high-quality public service.” Given below is the executive summary of the Scan.

Executive Summary Portable Document Format (PDF)

How do you create a supportive environment? What methods do you use that cultivate a supportive workplace culture among your colleagues?

About 100 government employees sent in their answers to these questions for our 2008/2009 Healthy Workplace Calendar Contest, which focused on submitting your best idea for creating a supportive workplace culture.

Contest entry forms were circulated with our 2008/2009 Healthy Workplace Calendar that was sent to all government employees. Entries were analyzed based on these main criteria: strong workplace culture and supportive environment element, innovation, cost efficiency and ease of implementation. Our judging panel, composed of members of the Healthy Workplace Advisory Committee, 3 grand prize winners and 6 admirable idea winners. To view the winners and their ideas, click here Portable Document Format (PDF).

Healthy Workplace Employee Calendar

The PSC is looking for workplace success stories that best reflect the elements of a Healthy Workplace to be part of the 2008-2009 Healthy Workplace Employee Calendar. Twelve submissions will be selected to be included in the calendar, which is distributed in October during Healthy Workplace Month, and other stories may be highlighted on our Healthy Workplace website or in our @ The Window newsletter.

The Healthy Workplace Calendar is designed to increase awareness about the elements of a healthy workplace and to inspire individuals and teams to make changes that promote both employee and organizational health.

The deadline for submission is Friday, July 31. You can view the submission overview Portable Document Format (PDF) for more information and download the submission form Microsoft Word Format (DOC) and send it to Jessica Parkinson Healthy Workplace Project Coordinator by email at parkinjd@gov.ns.ca. If you have any questions about submission, do not hesitate to contact Jessica at (902) 424-7238.

Innovative Ideas Rewarded

Your Workplace magazine recently announced the winners of the national Innovative Ideas at Work challenge. Four Canadian organizations won this award for putting their innovative beliefs into practice, and their workplaces are healthier because of it.

The purpose of this award is to recognize the innovative ideas that organizations are implementing in the following categories: Lifestyle & Health, Team & Workplace Culture, and Physical Workspace and Health & Safety.

Winners for the most Innovative Ideas at Work:

  • Nova Scotia Public Service Commission, Healthy Workplace Initiatives
  • Extendicare Kingston, You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk?
  • Niagara Casinos, Active Lifestyle Challenges
  • City of Kingston, See it, Say it, Share it

The Public Service Commission submitted under Team and Workplace Culture highlighting their work to communicate the Healthy Workplace Policy which included the “Be the Manager You'd Love to Have” Calendar, the Managing a Healthy Workplace self assessment tool and the 2007-2008 Calendar called “Create a Healthy Workplace - one day at a time.” The awards presentation was held at the Healthy Workplaces Conference 2008, Niagara-on-the-Lake, on March 26. For more information on the challenge or the Healthy Workplaces Conference, please visit www.yourworkplace.ca.

Create a Healthy Workplace Contest Winners

With more than 100 entries entered for the "Create a Healthy Workplace Contest," the turnout was great! Circulated with our Healthy Workplace Calendar 2007-2008, the contest became a method for employees to stop and think about ways they can make their workplace healthy, fun and a great place to work. We thank everyone for their participation, and look forward to reading more wonderful ideas next time. Please view the complete list of the winners and their ideas Portable Document Format (PDF).

Create a Healthy Workplace: One day at a time

Our Healthy Workplace Calendars for 2008 were circulated to all government employees during Canada's Healthy Workplace Week in October. If you didn't recieve one and would like to, please contact Rima Thomeh by email at thomehr@gov.ns.ca or call (902) 424-6158.

Healthy Eating in the Workplace Guide Launched at Kitchen Parties in Halifax and Sydney

Building on our Take Back the Lunch Break campaign, and our knowledge of key risk factors for individual health, we worked with dieticians to develop a Healthy Eating in the Workplace Guide. It was piloted in four locations and was made available for all Departments during Nutrition Month in March 2008. For more information about our Halifax and Sydney launches respectively on March 26 and April16, 2008, check out our article in @ the Window Spring 2008 edition Portable Document Format (PDF).

Our visit to the Legislature

On November 29, 2007, the Healthy Workplace Team and members of Healthy Workplace Committees across government were invited to the Legislature to be recognized for our contributions to achieving Level 1 Certification in Healthy Workplace from the National Quality Institute's Progressive Excellence Program. Please view the speech Portable Document Format (PDF) read by Honorable Carolyn Boliver-Getson and other member's comments.

Achieving Level 1 Certification for NQI's Progressive Excellence Program in Healthy Workplace

Premier Rodney MacDonald receiving Level 1 Certification from John Perry (NQI).

On September 20, 2007, Premier Rodney MacDonald was on hand to receive what no other provincial government has ever achieved. John Perry, vice-president with the National Quality Institute, presented the Premier with Level 1 Certification from the institute's Healthy Workplace Progressive Excellence Program for the Nova Scotia Government's commitment to providing a healthy workplace for its 10,000-plus employees.  For more information read our press release.

Healthy Workplace Related Competitions in the Government of NS

It's a little healthy competition! Many Departments are organizing walking and weight loss competitions with great success. Download our summary Portable Document Format (PDF) of Healthy Workplace Competitions going on across the province.

Family Caregivers in the Workplace

With our aging population, the issue of support for family caregivers in the workplace is one that is quickly gaining attention -- although caregiving can just as easily include a spouse or child with special needs. In February 2006, a weekly program was provided to hold eight sessions that covered topics such as “Caring for Yourself”, “Communication”, “Financial and Legal Issues”, “Long-term Planning”, and more. An evaluation of the pilot was conducted and a summary report Portable Document Format (PDF) produced called "Striking a Balance." As a follow-up to the project, the weekly program is now being offered in a two day format in the regular Public Service Commission Training Calendar in three locations across the province. To register, please go to The Learning Environment.

Evaluation Framework Complete

We have developed a logic model and a framework for the Evaluation of the corporate Healthy Workplace Policy. This framework will assist departments in developing measures to monitor and evaluate their own healthy workplace initiatives.

Healthy Workplace