Supercharge your business with a well-planned wellness programme
These days, most large employers in New Zealand have a wellness programme of some sort. However, a well-planned, well designed wellness programme is important for small to medium business too. A well planned - rather than an ad hoc - wellness programme helps you target areas of greatest need and maximise your company's financial investment in wellness. And importantly, it doesn’t have to cost the earth!
Why is a wellness programme important?
Compliance to health and safety is one thing. It is crucial. However, workplace wellness takes your business to the next level. As Richard Branson said: “Clients do not come first, employees come first. Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business, it is as simple as that”.
According to the BusinessNZ 'Wellness in the Workplace Survey'**, NZ businesses lost 6.6 million working days in 2016, which equates to 1.5 billion dollars. The survey showed that non-work-related illness and injury was the leading driver of absence, something health and wellness programmes would seem primed to address.
All 109 businesses in the survey said that wellness impacts on the productivity of their staff, with most experiencing a noticeable drop in output when staff are unwell. A typical employee's absence costs their employer $600 to $1,000 a year. There is also the issue of presenteeism (an employee being at work, but, not being productive). Improving wellness is therefore important to business productivity.
The impact of poor mental health is also becoming more widely recognised by companies. Stress, depression and anxiety are common across our society. The BusinessNZ 'Wellness in the Workplace Survey'** showed that in 2016 stress was up 22.9% on previous years. Therefore, businesses cannot afford to overlook the mental health of their workers.
International studies suggest reduced presenteeism and absenteeism are potential benefits of a well-planned wellness programme, particularly over the long-term. Therefore, what is required by all business in the current environment is a long-term, ongoing commitment to providing a healthy workplace.
What sort of interventions can be included in a wellness programme?
Workplace Wellness covers a range of potential options designed to build staff and business resilience. These options include ergonomics, health services, health promotion education, company fitness and health challenges, corporate volunteering and team building.
Key components of an effective, targeted wellness programme:
A well-designed wellness programme helps you target areas of greatest need and maximise your company's financial investment in wellness. So, how do you get started? We recommend you integrate these key components into planning:
- Identify your current risks – What wellness issues is your organisation currently concerned about?
- Identify your objectives - There are a whole series of reasons that companies engage in wellness programmes. These range from wanting healthier, more productive staff, through to being seen to be a more desirable employer. Once you have identified your objectives you can make sure you tailor your programme to meet your objectives
- Bench-mark – Ensure you collect data before you start, so that you can evaluate your programme once completed.
- Take an integrated approach to workplace wellness – Consider a whole of person approach, i.e. physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
- Involve staff and ensure good communications – involve staff in planning and evaluation; and, make sure you communicate well with employees at all stages of programme roll out and evaluation.
- Evaluate – It is important to evaluate any wellness programme. Ask yourselves: Did we meet our objectives? Incorporate evaluation into future planning.
**BusinessNZ. (2017). Wellness in the workplace 2017: Survey report. Retrieved from: https://www.businessnz.org.nz/__ data/assets/pdf_file/0009/128547/Wellness-in-the-Workplace-Survey-2017.pdf
Not sure where to start? Consider our SimplyWell™ consultation package
Not sure how to get started designing a workplace wellness programme? That’s where we can help! Joyworkz have done the hard work for you and made it simple and easy to get an effective programme underway. We’ve thoroughly researched best practice wellness programme design and combined that with our considerable experience to create SimplyWell™. This tailored, cost-effective, consultation package will clearly guide you through the important steps to help you create your own successful wellness program. For more information see here…
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