Here we have a look in the ways Australian employers are inspiring their staff to live healthier and happier lives – at home as well as work.
There is nothing new about employers looking out for health and wellbeing of their staff. As the Ford Motor Company’s first Social Department remains contentious because of its paternalism and possibility to infringe privacy, it certainly highlighted the interests that businesses naturally have in the well-being of the staff.
Its been a long journey, and corporate health care today is quite different from that early guise. Ford’s unsubtle stick is replaced with much more carrotbased incentives for staff to enhance their wellness, and also the kinds of health problems where employers seek to intervene has widened. The most popular employers now take a complete method of worker health and wellbeing. They’re offering interventions centred on fitness, nutrition and also the mental health of the staff, too as lifestyle problems.
The company case
Healthy workers are normally more employed, productive, and need less sick leave or other absences in the occupation.
Vaughan Paul, group human resources manager – consumer, at Optus says the developments connected with the work force are a few of the very quantifiable in HR. “The health and well being of workers has been demonstrated to be directly linked to numerous key business problems, including productivity, sick leave, customer satisfaction and company threat.”
Optus’ My Wellbeing program supplies a wise variety of activities as well as courses to its 100000 staff in Australia. From onsite physiotherapists, gyms and partnerships with thirdparty providers, to individual health and healthy eating suggestions and wellbeing assessments, staff can select and pick the interventions which best suit their requirements.
“Healthy and hired workers are great for business,” she says. “They’re match-healthy and always prepared to perform.”
In July 2011, Unilever started the Australian version of its own international Lamplighter health and wellness plan. In accordance with the wider brand message, it attempts to place well-being and health near the peak of the plan for staff in all its places and operations. “The actual strength of Lamplighter is that it really is independently geared,” Farrant says.
Some of the improvements in worker health may come from focusing on nutrition and diet. Farrant says Lamplighter does this in numerous unique ways. The times of the workplace canteen serving greasy cuisine and chips are gone. “Staff can work directly with a chef or nutrition specialist,” Farrant says. Below this expansion, individual diet challenges are considered, with action plans and possible recipes developed.
Paul says nutrition is likewise among the most significant elements of the My Wellbeing plan at Optus. ‘Priorities change over time, but diet and weight stay essential focus areas of the plan.” He says staff in all functions has access to a variety of seminars and healthy eating suggestions, but the business is cautious not to bombard workers with new ideas. “We don’t try to affect people’s choices around diet and fitness, but we do look to supply options and raise consciousness around these problems.”
Within the nutrients focus, Optus offers staff individual health assessments and complete health screenings, called Vielife. “It provides a picture of worker’s current health and wellbeing status, giving them personalised, private comments and ideas on how they really can enhance their wellness.”