Construction Tabling How To’s
Updated: Apr 30
Worksite wellness programs offer construction companies the ability to raise awareness around worker safety through providing greater accessibly to health and wellness resources, focusing on primary prevention, and educating workers on all aspects of their health. However, with this industry comes the challenges of high employee-turnover, limited computer use, language barriers and lack of time to participate during the workday, which can make it difficult to provide successful wellness programming.
Tabling is a component of a wellness program that addresses these challenges as it is time flexible and easily customizable to meet your population’s needs. It is as simple as setting up a table where a wellness expert provides various wellness resources and activities for workers on the site. It is often a very effective way to build trust and rapport with employees which increases interest, participation, and engagement of the wellness program. Tabling is whatever you make it out to be, however, there are important components to consider when designing and implementing this for the construction industry.
Provide Meaningful and Relevant Content
Construction workers have unique needs when it comes to their health and wellness. Being aware of these needs and understanding demands that workers experience daily is crucial in developing table talk topics. Along with doing your own research to get industry insight, speak with those onsite, including safety managers, foremen, and trade workers. Get an understanding of topics they’re interested in and topics that you deem are important for achieving higher levels of health and wellness. For example, you can frame how better quality of sleep improves cognitive functioning resulting in higher job performance and decreased injury risk. You want to provide information that is valuable, which for this population often means relating wellness initiatives to having a more efficient job performance and safer working environment.
Utilize Time-Flexible Activities
With a busy work schedule, you’ll only have a few moments to grab someone’s attention, get them to engage with the content, and have them learn something meaningful. Simplicity is key. Below are a few suggestions for activities and resources you can incorporate when you’re tabling:
Table Talk Cards: Create a double-sided paper where a question is asked on side and the answer is given on the other, along with a brief explanation.
Spin the wheel: Create or purchase a wheel that participants will spin and answer the question the arrow lands on.
QR codes: Provide videos and longer reading materials through QR codes that can be scanned. Flyers will often get thrown out or forgotten somewhere onsite, so eliminate this and provide easy to scan QR codes. Tip: You should still have hard copy materials on hand if employees ask for a hard copy or don’t have a phone to scan the code.
Offer Content in Multiple Languages
It is important to make all your resources and content easily accessible, which includes translating materials to meet the language needs of your population. You’ll want to discuss with leadership on an ongoing basis of which trades will be on-site to ensure that you have translated materials, if needed. This is crucial as every employee on-site deserves equal access to improving their health and wellness.
When you hold your table talks will be crucial in ensuring high participation. You’ll want to decide best times when workers have a little down time to stop by and interact with you. Although sites may differ, having table talks in the morning before shifts begin are often very effective. Tip: At most construction sites, trade workers often show up earlier to guarantee parking spots, which means you can use the time they are waiting to start the day to set up a table. Likewise, holding talks during morning or lunch breaks allows workers to choose to come over when they have downtime. Tip: You’ll typically want to avoid planning table talks on days that are busier than usual, such as when there is concrete pouring scheduled or a crane is coming onsite.
Where you are holding these table talks is just as important as when. You’ll want to set up your table in a location where workers pass by often but also won’t put anyone in danger. As the layout of a jobsite can change, talk to the safety manager regularly to ensure you’re in a safe spot. See if there is a location where workers must check in or gather before the workday begins. Similarly, is there a location where the workers gather to eat their lunch where you can set up? You’ll want to make sure you’re not intruding or pestering workers when they are on break as this is their time but being visible will ensure that they at least see you and could spark interest to participate. Being visible also involves getting the word out about your tabling. Tip: Utilize safety meetings or team huddles to promote what days/times you’ll be tabling or have foremen remind their crew to stop by your table. Get the word out, be visible, and show employees you are invested in their wellbeing!
Providing incentives is an effective way to create buy-in from those who may be hesitant or not interested in participating. This is another area where you’ll need to know your population – what sorts of “prizes” could you offer to drive participation? For the construction industry, providing stickers that workers can stick on their helmets or raffling off insulated water bottles are ways to cater to their needs and wants. For larger incentives, gift cards to purchase safety equipment or upgraded tools can be a nice perk as well. This industry is also based in having strong communication and teamwork, so creating a competition among the workers on who can get the most questions right or which trade can accumulate the most points are also effective.
It is important to cater to the unique challenges of the construction industry when designing and implementing tabling events. As outlined above, it is important to consider the type of content you’re providing, when, where, and how you’re providing it, and how you will you reward participation.
To learn more about wellness programming specific to the construction industry, visit https://www.wellnessworkdays.com/construction-wellness