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.

Importance of the Nutrition Health Wellness Triangle in Our Life

Regarding nutrition health wellness, unlike what most people think, life is not a matter of living and dying; it is not measured by absolute life and death. Rather, it is being measured by a spectrum of health – a spectrum of health where one side of the extreme is death and the other is that of a healthy well-being, not just of being alive. So, taking that spectrum of nutrition health wellness as a basis, we may say that the healthier one is, the farther he is from death. In this matter, the passage of time is automatically included since one’s heath would usually begin to deteriorate at a certain point in his age.

But even if the deterioration of health is inevitable as time as passes by (at least practically, but not theoretically), we can still do something with personal health nutrition wellness lifestyles and habits to slow down the deterioration of health in a number of ways – or rather in many ways that has to be integrated. Some of these nutrition health wellness improvement ways include proper physical activity, a healthy psychological disposition, and a carefully planned nutrition, with the last one being the focus of below.

Why the proper food is vital for health nutrition wellness and longevity? Our body is being fed and maintained by using different chemicals, primarily with oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon, along with some other elements needed like calcium, iron, zinc, etc. All of these can only be taken from eating and drinking, or in other words, through nutrition, with the exception of oxygen which can be taken in by breathing. These chemicals are what promotes and helps both our mind and body function, so we could say that nutrition is the foundation and the corner of the health nutrition wellness triangle. This is because without proper nutrition, the body cannot have any form of energy needed to utilize its movements, thus hindering the possibility of having a proper physical exercise or wellness activity, thus decreasing health.

On the psychological part, a person without the proper nutrition needed by the mind wouldn’t be capable of higher psychological processes, so the necessity of having a healthy psychological disposition also becomes far from achievement. But, it is important to take note in terms of one’s own nutrition health wellness that scientists are also accepting the idea that the mind, particularly the consciousness of a person, is capable of over-riding its own design. While this may be true, the contribution of the proper food intake toward raising our own nutrition health wellness triangle is undeniable.