Could the workplace become an incubator of new possibilities for healthy workplaces, and epicentres for a pandemic of health?
This was the question that the National Federation of Coffee Growers, in Colombia, the largest rural non-profit organization in the world, with over two million members, decided to tackle. To answer it, more than three thousand employees of the organization were invited to assess their own levels of health, and to describe the reasons behind their assessments, and then to identify what they felt would be necessary to maintain them as positive, or to switch them to positive if they were negative at baseline. They generated over 21,000 pieces of qualitative information, which were then used to identify themes, which became the basis for personalized and collective health-creating prescriptions, which led 94% of the participants to consider their own health to be positive by the end of 2017. This was possible thanks to the mobilization of a rich and diverse number of supportive resources that belonged clearly to the mental, social and spiritual realms, with very little need for medical services. Ongoing work between the leaders of the organization and the employees enabled the proportion of those who regard their health as positive to reach 97.5% by the third quarter of 2019. Two institutions that are part of the organization, already had been able to report 100% of positive health by that time, bringing the notion of a pandemic of health closer to reality.
References: Unleashing a Pandemic of Health From the WorkplaceWhat Colombia’s Coffee Farmers Can Teach Us About Good Health; Unleashing a Pandemic of Health from the workplace: Seeing is believing