APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

Planning for a Healthy, Productive Workforce

Nova ScotiaThe College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, a professional body responsible for regulating the Canadian province’s medical profession, strives to provide a work environment that encourages health and well-being. Employees are highly involved in the College’s healthy workplace initiative and in turn, reap its many rewards.

The College began planning for its healthy workplace program with a comprehensive needs assessment that identified areas that could benefit from further development, such as stress management and mental health resources. New practices were designed and added to the College’s already robust offerings, which include generous staff benefits, training and development, and EAP services. Additionally, the College’s healthy lifestyle program provides employees with a variety of benefits such as a generous annual wellness allowance to support gym memberships and other healthy living goals, workshops that address health issues, online health assessments and a smoking cessation program with a financial incentive and ongoing support.

Healthy workplace efforts at the College are guided by a quality council consisting of all levels of staff and overseen by a steering committee. The healthy workplace philosophy and programming are actively supported by all levels of the organization, including the board, senior leadership and staff.

The College has been recognized by the National Quality Institute and the Metro Area Chamber of Commerce as a leader in healthy workplace initiatives; but more importantly, employees report high levels of satisfaction and well-being. Average sick leave is 2.5 days per year, compared to the provincial average of 9.1 days and the national average of 7.1 days. By taking a long-term view of employee health, integrating this philosophy into its vision, mission and values and actively involving staff in efforts to improve employee and organizational outcomes, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has laid a foundation for a culture of health and wellness.

"As a result of our focus on creating a good working environment, ARUP has enjoyed high morale and productivity, low turnover and absenteeism, enhanced recruitment and retention, and positive customer relations."

Carl R. Kjeldsberg, M.D.
CEO and Chairmain of the Board
ARUP Laboratories, Past Winner, Utah