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Behavior Change Theory application of the Ecological Model

BehaviorChange Theory: application of the Ecological Model

BehaviorChange Theory: application of the Ecological Model

Asthe new workwise and wellness coach at company X, I propose robustchanges in the health and wellness plan. Company X is a smallconstruction company with 250 employees. This plan’s mission is topromote health and wellness of employees and all its stakeholders.This can be achieved by way of developing relevant personal,intrapersonal, interpersonal and organizational policies that supportthe welfare of the employees at large. Other measures to beimplemented include promotional materials, leadership training andoffering technical assistance. The plan endeavors to build abackground for healthy a community in the company X. The plan willpropose that for Company X to thrive, cross-sector interventions thateffectively and efficiently advance the health of the employees tocut down on the number of employees injured at work and those seekingmedical leave should be implemented as presented here.

Thisstrategy resonates well with the principles of the ecological modelthat seeks radical changes in an institution. The company will haveto review the approach to health as a need following the assessmentof the employees. However, the plan will align with the company’sstrategic plan and goals for seamless integration into the workplace. The regulationsimposed by the Affordable Care Act and occupation health have failedto initiate any meaningful change in the behavior of employees andthis means that American health and wellness program is greatlycompromised and needs changes. Like for many small companies, this istrue for the Company X that has shifted attention to focus wellnesson job-related hazards, as opposed to health behavior and lifestyletopics.


Ecologicalmodel dwells on the influence on the behavior of individuals byimpacting workplace policy and the environment in a manner thatre-orients the work-place dynamics. This model has been criticized asbeing so general in giving domains but is not specific in terms ofthe type of behavior where to apply those domains (Alber&nbspandHamilton-Hancock,&nbsp2013). For this reason, the ecological theory will be tailored to suite thesituation at hand in a population and a behavior. Also, othertheories will be applied within the ecological model to addressspecific behaviors (Terrell,&nbsp2015). The model helps to definethe interaction between an individual and the environment where theyoperate. It is important that individuals are responsible formaintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce risks. However, the socialenvironment will determine the corresponding behavior and can be abarrier to achieving behavior change(Terrell,&nbsp2015).To address this, the ecological model proposes public, organization,interpersonal and intrapersonal policy to address the issues at hand.The model recognizes the role of social norms in shaping behaviors,beliefs and perception about healthy and unhealthy ways.

Thisplan will incorporate all aspects designed to promote and improve thehealth and wellness of the employees in the workplace. The ecologicalmodel will provide the structure where the employees in the workplacewill be supported and influenced to lead healthier lifestyles by wayof modification of the workplace orientation to not only benefit theemployees but also the employer by reducing manageable health issues(Terrell,&nbsp2015). A comprehensive health promotion program isimportant because it can reduce absenteeism because of the fewincidences of sickness.

Animportant question in the implementation of health promotion programwill relate to how the plan will introduce and support meaningfulprograms. Implementation of the policies should consider theinfluential factor that will go a long way to determining success orfailures of the plans(Peeters,&nbsp2012).Such factors include workplace culture and organizational structuresof the business implementing the program. Moving forward, it will beimportant to prioritize the functional solutions.


Preliminaryinformation in the company’s database indicates that the employeesin company X are at risk of lifestyle diseases and drastic measuresare needed to arrest the situation. Being a multi-ethnic setting,conflicts are more likely to lead to low job satisfaction andincreased stress levels(Peeters,&nbsp2012).Already, the company has identified the low SES and literacy of which45% are obese, 25% are smokers and 38% have high blood pressure. Theemployer noticed increase expenditure in medical claims due to kneeproblems and this is a manifestation of bigger problems in theexisting health and wellness program.

Giventhe condition of the workplace, health improvement programs will beprescribed to address the ills facing the company, what will theemployer and the employee do to enjoy the benefits that come withthis plan? The starting point could include partnering with a localhospital since health facilities offer screening and wellnessservices, initial testing will focus on cholesterol levels, diabetes,cancer and hypertension. Such centers will also support lifestylemodification programs including smoking cessation and weightmanagement activities.

Collectingbaseline data

Itis possible that company X has not captured a comprehensive and anaccurate picture of the health status of the employees. The firststep will collect this information to determine where to direct moreeffort. From preliminary data, it is clear that obesity is a commonproblem and this will need weight management programs to beimplemented. So, personal health surveys will be administered togather information on the health of employee each health, key healthindicators including cholesterol, blood and glucose levels. However,this information must be classified as confidential. The company caneven engage hospitals to advice on how to manage such information.

Aggregatedworkforce health profile&nbsp

Focusedgroup interviews are important when collecting personal information.Structured questions were used during oral interview session.Information gathered in these sessions will supplement the baselinedata and help the company to aggregate the employees’ healthprofile. When asked whether the company is aware of their healthissues, the interviewee established that the company does not trackhealth issues such as the exact number of individuals with modifiablehealth risks but relies on obsolete data. When asked about examplesof modifiable health risk at their place of work, most intervieweesmentioned that modifiable health risks range from stress factors,unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, drug abuse to poorworkplace orientation affect them greatly. They also indicated thatworkplace programs are very vigorous that they hardly spare-time fortheir families. Work-life balance is a problem. Some admitted thatthey have to get part-time jobs to cater for their families.

Whileassessing the company’s occupational health program, it wasestablished that there is no clear data on the number of individualsat risk for manageable conditions that impact their health or has thepotential to do so in future. Without this information, the employercannot establish the baseline to track the efficiency andeffectiveness of the plan going into the future. Also, collaborationwith health service providers to sensitize employees on healthylifestyle was on the minimal.

Intervention:Components of the Ecological Model

Inthe workplaces, specific interventions for wellness have targetedat-risk employees through lifestyle education, counseling and medicaltreatment. This approach should be supplemented given that it ignoresthe role played by workplace conditions to the problems affecting theemployees (Alber,&nbspandHamilton-Hancock,&nbsp2013).The adverse working conditions play an important role on thelifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease.Company X faceshigh rates of absenteeism occasioning the need to have in place ahealth and wellness promotion program. Traditional models advocatedfor invitation of health promotion centers to provide health checksat work places regarding fitness, exercise and diet(Peeters,&nbsp2012).The ecological model will begin with identification of individualswho are at risk of developing lifestyle related diseases to identifythe risk factors. Next, it will be important to look at the workingenvironment itself and establish how it affects the physical, socialand organizational environment.


Thefirst level of intervention will focus on personal and biologicalfactors that increase the likelihood of risks. At this level, theplan recommends profiling of each employee basing on income, age,history of abuse and drug and substance abuse. It also proposes arobust counseling and education programs that promote change inbehaviors, beliefs and attitudes. Life skills training on stress andemotion management can be a starting point. Awareness on the need toengage in physical exercise, dealing with bullying and dietary willbe created through campaigns that sensitize employees on theirwelfare. Guidelines should be inculcated in the workplace policy toincorporate these issues in day to day activates.


Thislevel will focus on the relationships that increase the likelihood ofemployees’ exposure to risk factors. Aspects like bullying andundue harassment from seniors are addressed in this section(Terrell,&nbsp2015).Accordingly, one’s peers, colleagues and family members influencehis or her behavior which explains their current behaviors, attitudesand belief. To address the issues that come from the type ofrelationships among the workforce, mentoring and peer programs arevital. Each employee is supposed to be linked with some mentor andthis will reduce the impact of risk factor such as conflicts andstress by increasing collaboration. The mentors will arbitratewhenever interpersonal conflicts are going out of hand. Also, formingpeer groups and communities of practice will enhance teamwork.Communities of practice refer to the organization of individuals ingroups that enhances knowledge and talent management. These groupsestablish forums of sharing knowledge and expertise in various areasof work and therefore exercising teamwork. In addition, they canextend to showing genuine concern about each other’s welfare,particularly on health and wellness.


Theecological model establishes an elaborate and coordinated thatincorporates the settings, including neighborhood, schools, and otherworkplaces to identify the characteristics that expose the employeesto the risk factors(Johnson,&nbsp2011).For the company, it will incorporate a number of entities such ascivic, social, recreational and business associations, localgovernment, labor groups, health organizations, schools and faithcommunities. These settings are likely to be related with featuresthat are linked with good health outcomes or expose employees to riskfactors. State supported infrastructure will provide a base uponwhich the community approach will be built in terms of the dedicatedresources and compliance with affordable care act to identify andeliminate lifestyle diseases risk factors(Alber,&nbspand Hamilton-Hancock,&nbsp2013).Preventive measures to be adopted by the company will have to impactpositively on the physical and social environment to elevate theplight of employees.

Thisplan proposes improving housing conditions in the neighborhood tokeep the workforce safe from burglary, disruptive neighborhood andprovide them better social amenities. The plan also proposes moreeffort to foster the relationship with the community to reduce onsocial isolation. This relates to the fact that most of the employeesare often stressed by the type of neighborhood they come from. Thecompany can also promote economic activities in the community throughawarding of tenders to the locals and purchasing materials from thereto gain the goodwill of the community.


Theforth part of the plan will consider broad societal factors thatexpose workers to the risk factors identified earlier(Johnson,&nbsp2011).Among these factors, the cultural and social norms established in thecommunity where the risk factors thrive and those norms that supportviolence as a way of solving disputes must be scrutinized. Thereshould be in place social, economic and educational policies thatmaintain social and economic equality among the employees. Theultimate goal for this project will be to incorporate an approachthat guarantees employees access to the many community services tofoster well-being.

Continuumof Care

Thecontinuum of care proposes promotion, prevention and earlyintervention treatment and recovery as an integral part of theecological model. Most health care institutions have invested intreatment and recovery aspects that will normally be late to make animpact. This plan proposes adoption of ways to achieving drasticimprovement in health outcomes that lay greater emphasis on greatermental and psychological health wellness in addition to earlyintervention strategies that will go a long way to off-set healthproblems before they even develop.

Thelogic model




Service providers and consumers to support the programs

Internal knowledge base and expert input to provide necessary skills for implementation

Time, space, money and materials to implement the programs

Creation of awareness and enhancing the knowledge base of the employees on the need to seek better health

Activities that promote health seeking behaviors Educational and promotional activities creation of awareness of health factors among employees and the management

Activities that incorporate civic, social, recreational and business associations, local government, labor groups, health organizations, schools and faith communities to creates a collaborative work environment to foster team work

Assigning of mentors and communities of practice

To support establishment of various levels of interventions policies from the national, federal, and local levels to civic societies for implementation of health and wellness programs

To share knowledge, arbitrate during conflicts and create a family-like environment whose members deeply care for each other


Asmuch as the ecological model is ambitious, it is result oriented andachievable. It is important to appreciate that the project is builtaround social connectedness as a prevention strategy where theemployer, employees and their families and the community at largemust be incorporated to get the sustained benefits. The startingpoint will be the root cause analysis to explore all components ofthe system and how they work together. The root causes will be lookedat from the lens of disruptive life, psychological problems andunhealthy workplace and family environment. To achieve meaningfulsupport, is advisable to seek evidence-based practices and each teammember, including the employees must embrace this. From here, it willbe easy to approach the community based problems and enhance thecapacity of the society a large to support and sustain better healthoutcomes.


Thecontext of health care and workplace reforms in America presents achallenge to small organizations like company X. This plan supportsthe effort towards the changes on how employees and employers shouldaccept, understand and approach the means to health and wellness atplaces of work. The plan in place is a contribution towardsdeveloping and implementing models of health and wellness. It isbuilt on the ecological model that specifies the role of states,workplaces, communities, individuals in the web of connection that isbased on promotion, prevention and early treatment. The outcome ofthis continuum of care includes reduced number of employees on sickleave, friendly workplace, elimination of risk factors andcontribution towards efficiency in performance of duties.


Alber,&nbspJ.,&amp Hamilton-Hancock,&nbspD. (2013). Using the Socio-EcologicalModel to Analyze U.S. Policies for Managing Obesity.&nbspTheInternational Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society,&nbsp2(3),75-87. doi:10.18848/2156-8960/cgp/v02i03/41028

Johnson,&nbspS.&nbspL.(2011). An Ecological Model of Workplace Bullying: A Guide forIntervention and Research.&nbspNursingForum,&nbsp46(2),55-63. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6198.2011.00213.x

Peeters,&nbspJ.(2012). Social work and sustainable development: towards asocial–ecological practice model.&nbspJournalof Social Intervention: Theory and Practice,&nbsp21(3),5. doi:10.18352/jsi.316

Terrell,&nbspS.(2015). Using a Social Ecological Theory to Determine WorksiteWellness Programming Barriers within a Private Midwestern HigherEducation Setting.&nbspTheInternational Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society,&nbsp4(2),31-43. doi:10.18848/2156-8960/cgp/v05i02/41122