Wellness in the Workplace

By Posted on : 2 Sep 2019 0 Comments

As a team leader or manager, when was the last time you asked yourself the following questions?

How is your team productivity? 

Wondering how you can keep your staff engaged? 

Noticing an increase in sick leave and a decrease in productivity? 

You are not the only Manager in corporate Australia that is considering these very questions.

Many companies are starting to realise the enormous benefits of corporate wellness. To get the best from your employees, you need to be the best in class in your industry and provide an environment that allows them to thrive; not just survive.

Let’s start with some known facts:

  • Research shows a ROI of between $3-5 on every dollar invested in well-being programs, and $2.03 in mental health initiatives. (1)
  • Mental Health issues are the leading cause of illness, absenteeism, presenteeism (attending work and under-performing while unwell) and long-term-work incapacity in Australia (2)
  • Mental Health issues costs the Australian economy over $12 billion per year in lost productivity and has significant impact on staff morale and organisational performance (3)
  • Suicide levels are climbing at an alarming rate. Eight Australians die by their own hand each day, six of them men, with 20% of suicides are linked to work. (4)
  • We have all heard that ‘Sitting is the new Smoking’ – too much sitting can result in compromised posture and chronic pain. (5)
  • Studies show the brain is 31% more productive in a positive state, rather than neutral, negative or stressed. (6)

5 Top Tips on how you can create a thriving, healthy and productive work environment:

  • Introduce an onsite wellness program – survey your team and ask what will engage them? A physical activity – Yoga? Pilates? Boxing class? Or health seminars – featuring stress management techniques and mindfulness experiences to name just a few.
  • Group fitness sessions – this will create a wonderful team building atmosphere. Pair up with your team mates and create a great camaraderie between your staff.
  • Introduce ‘Walking Meetings’ – take the office meeting on the road! Make your 30-minute seated meeting a walking meeting and notice the productivity and alertness soar in the office!
  • Introduce a Quiet Reflective Space – assign an area dedicated to offer a quiet reflective space – your team can enjoy a 10-minute time out to take a deep breath, close their eyes and recharge.
  • Offer access to a wellness app (suggestion – InsightTimer) and use this as a tool to allow your team to recharge in a mindfulness experience or meditation.

What will the benefits look like long term if you introduce a dedicated Wellness Program?

For management

Research has shown that a Corporate Wellness Program pays enormous dividends. They include:

  • A reduction in employee injuries, illness, absenteeism
  • A decrease in healthcare costs
  • Motivated and engaged employees and increased productivity
  • Increase in staff retention and lower rates of employee turnover

For employees

Studies have also shown the tremendous benefits of these activities and programs for employees. They include:

  • A reduction in symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression
  • Greater productivity at work and deeper, more restorative sleep
  • Improved immune system
  • Increased mental calmness and peace of mind

 

For today’s workplaces to thrive, it’s critical that employers and business leaders create supportive work cultures of wellness on an ongoing basis – not once a year or an occasional pub lunch, but a true and meaningful experience that shows the worth of the team members.

“It’s essential that Australian corporations see ‘employee well-being’ as a business driver.”

Forward thinking corporations know that investing in their team improves the bottom line; it just makes financial sense. Companies need to encourage relaxation, slowing down and taking both physical movement and mental breaks throughout the day. This will extend the life of the employee in that business, and will ensure the well-being of the employee is being met. The importance of keeping the team active and encouraging a healthy team morale by including regular physical activity will ensure the team avoid becoming overwhelmed and overworked. Without taking these steps, companies will risk poor performance, increase in absence by team members, potential long-term illness, mental health issues and, the unavoidable cost of replacing that employee if they were to leave.

If the human element of a business breaks down, then the business breaks down. Companies are only as strong as the health and well-being of their employees. It is important to address the human element and address its need in conjunction with the practical need of the business. By incorporating wellness in a holistic approach within a work environment you will see an improvement in overall performance of the staff and the business.

Skye Griffiths is a Specialist Consultant at Parity Consulting – specialising in the recruitment of Marketing, Communications and Digital professionals, as well as Parity’s Wellness Guru. Skye has a background in yoga and meditation, and organises monthly wellness hours for the Parity team. If you’d like to have a have a confidential discussion about opportunities in Marketing, Communications and Digital, contact Skye Griffiths on +61 451 193 774 or sgriffiths@parityconsulting.com.au 

References:

1. Harvard Business Review
2. Safe Work Australia
3. Blackdog Institute
4. NSW Department of Education
5. Better Health Victoria
6. Shawn Anchor, Positive Psychologist Researcher

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