Best Practice Workplace Health & Well being Strategies

Best Practice Workplace Health and Well being Strategies

What do workplaces have in common when it comes to demonstrating best practice in their health and well being initiatives?

They demonstrate an outstanding commitment to understanding employees’ health and well being needs and provide innovative, highly targeted and accessible initiatives. Their holistic programs focus on physical and psychological health, work/life balance and financial well being. A strategic approach and effective evaluation of programs have lead to increasingly innovative and successful health and wellbeing initiatives.

Benefits to individuals and workplaces

The benefits of these programs to individuals and to the organisations are manifold.

Ive found individual cases of potentially life saving interventions as well as evidence of positive lifestyle changes in areas such as work and life balance, exercise, fitness, nutrition and weight reduction.

Benefits to workplaces include:

positive impacts on retention, recruitment and engagement;
decreases in stress claims, loss time injury, workers compensation claims and absenteeism;
enhanced reputation;
staff feeling proud to be part of these organisations.

Creating an Award winning initiative

A great example of an organisation with an outstanding health & well being program is Greenslopes Private Hospital (GPH).

The GPH Wellness Centre was launched in 2003, providing employees with a facility to improve their health and well being. In 2005, the hospital launched a new “[email protected]” initiative, encompassing Human Resources (HR), Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), Learning and Development, Greenslopes Wellness Program, Social Club and Library. This was designed to provide a more coordinated and collaborative approach to organisational wellness.

“With an increasingly competitive employment marketplace, and nursing shortage, increasing flexibility of work practices and the GPH wellness program were implemented as a key recruitment and retention strategy.

Other drivers included corporate social responsibility, an aging workforce, work intensification, increasing workers compensation costs, work life expectations, and ‘walking the talk’ as a health care organisation” explains Renae Long, GPH Human Resources Manager.

Long says “At GPH we have a comprehensive range of options for changing lifestyles and family demands. As we are a Hospital and as such operate 24/7 our staff has the option of tailored work hours to suit their family, educational and lifestyle commitments.”

GPH provides an extensive range of flexible work practices and well being options. These include an EAP program, gym, child care on site, many professional development opportunities, external education grants and scholarships for staff, the introduction of a recognition and rewards system, paid maternity leave provisions, support for financial wellness, a subsidised staff bistro providing healthy meal options, internet access via personal workstation or bistro IT booths, and many many, more initiatives.

Renae Long from GPH says “the benefits of our initiatives for employees include improved health and well being, job satisfaction, work life balance, productivity and financial literacy and retirement planning. This provides our staff with employment satisfaction and is supported by our increasing retention rates.”

Leadership, management commitment and employee engagement are key to the success of well being programs. This commitment and engagement require role modelling by senior management, consultation, on-going education, sophisticated facilitated dialogue and program evaluation.

Kerry Fallon Horgan is the managing partner of Flexibility At Work and author of “Time On, Time Out! Flexible Work Solutions to Keep Your Life In Balance” and “Financial Counselling: A Practical Guide to Everyday Problems”. We provide leading edge

Health Wellness Programs – For A Common Goal

Health wellness programmes are an important part of any society, workplace or company. Although starting of a wellness program seems to be a daunting task, it is not that tough either. It is just like a process strategically planned to enable people to increase control over and improve their own health. For this, people need to be given good health education and appropriate medical screenings. Such programmes that are also observed in big firms and companies require employee and executive consultation and approval. With the setting up of the first groundwork, an effective and successful programme can be accomplished. A variety of activities like health coaching, health fairs, on-site fitness programmes, weight management programmes, medical screenings, nutrition education, stress management and free health care programmes including certain tests like pH, blood pressure and blood sugar level tests are usually done to ensure health related alertness among the people.

Certain health wellness programmes include tests to detect ailments early. Prevention is better than cure is the motto. People are also made aware about sex, vaccinations, infant health care, ill-effects of alcohol and smoking, and maternal health. People usually ignore the minor health related issues, thus making way to bigger ailments. Such things can only be eliminated with proper health education. Small symptoms can lead to major health issues in the long run. Therefore precautionary steps need to be taken to generate an insight among the people to motivate them to stay fit.

Wellness plans that focus on stress management is usually related to employees in an organization. Not only big organizations, but medium scale companies are also getting interested in generating health awareness among its employees. The results are positively impacting in the bottom line and giving the employees enough ways to cut down stress, known as, Stress Buster. As now a days, stress is the most important aspect to be taken care of and it is seen in almost every part of an organization, qualitative measures for its elimination are a must have. Group activities also render a fun environment and improve employee relation among one another garnering mutual respect and understanding. Corporate health care programmes are turning out to be a hit among the companies because of its effective and genuine results. Such health programmes ameliorate the confidence of the employees and boosts their morale.