There are five important facts businesses should consider before launching a new workplace wellbeing program, according to research from HR think-tank Reventure.
Wellbeing is playing an increasingly important role in today’s work landscape and workplaces which wish to remain competitive will need to know how to improve wellbeing, said lead researcher from Reventure, Dr Lindsay McMillan.
“Wellbeing is not a buzzword to attach to any new HR strategy, but rather it requires careful consideration, factoring in worker’s evolving needs in our rapidly-changing work landscape,” said McMillan.
“Some Australian workplaces have recognised this rising trend and have addressed it with workplace wellbeing programs; in fact, 43 per cent of Australian workers claim their workplace offers a wellbeing program.”
The Reventure research, which took in 1000 Australian workers, found that wellbeing programs have to be more meaningful than just “work-perks” to improve wellbeing.
As such, there are five important considerations that workplace wellbeing programs should take into account, according to McMillan:
1. Half (51 per cent) of Australian workers believe unrealistic workload expectations have the greatest negative impact on wellbeing in the workplace.
“Unrealistic workload expectations had the greatest negative impact on wellbeing according to Australian workers,” said McMillan.
“If workers are drowning in more deadlines than there are hours in the day, taking any time to talk about workplace wellbeing is going to sound incredibly tone-deaf.”
2. The majority (75 per cent) of Australian workers believe workplace wellbeing includes both physical and mental wellbeing.
“Encourage both physical and mental health side by side,” McMillan said.
3. More than a third (38 per cent) of Australian workers believe low team morale has the most negative impact on the workplace.
“Boost morale with team-oriented events – don’t neglect socialising from your overall workplace wellbeing plan,” said McMillan.
“However small, find a balance that works for your team – it might be a sports team or it might be an office lunch to get the team together and celebrate your successes.”
4. Half (51 per cent) of Australians say family is one of the biggest stressors in their life.
“For those with caring responsibilities, making it easier for them to prioritise family commitments will go some way to alleviate stress,” he said.
“Consider whether your workplace needs an employee assistance program that is available to family members too,” McMillan said.
5. About three-quarters (74 per cent) of workers believe workplace wellbeing programs are worth the time and money.
“The majority of workers said wellbeing programs are worth both the time and money, so have confidence in the knowledge that this investment is worth it for employees,” McMillan said.