02:41 pm, Thursday 1 March, 2012
It is no secret that healthier employees are happier and more productive. With employees being the most valuable asset to any business – it is worth taking care of them.
Luke Anear, Managing Director of SafetyCulture, saw the value in continuing the company’s injury-free history by encouraging staff to take up memberships for gyms, yoga, meditation or any other wellness activity they were interested in.
“We took the approach that staff could decide on what activities they participated in to increase the likelihood of them continuing with it. These are relatively low cost initiatives compared to the cost of workplace injuries and lost time” said Luke.
The software engineers have the opportunity to play table tennis right in their office space. This has many benefits including resting their eyes, getting some physical activity, having a ‘brain-break’ and building camaraderie all at the same time.
Quite often the employee undertaking some wellness activities leads to family involvement as well. Margaret, our Customer Care Manager now has her whole family enjoying visits to the gym. “It’s a bit too early to measure the impact on my work, but I definitely feel a lot better for going to the gym” said Margaret.
Corporate Health Juice states that in a 2005 study by Medicare it was found that unhealthy employees take up to nine times the sick leave as healthy employees. Australia is facing increasing levels of heart disease, diabetes, and depression among other issues. As a population we need to get moving, eat healthily and take care of our mental health. Suzy Dormer, a Townsville Psychologist says there are four essential components to managing our lives and mental health well – healthy food choices, physical exercise, good sleep and “stuff in your fun bucket”. SafetyCulture is doing its part to encourage its staff to take care of themselves.
There are real savings to be made by implementing staff wellness programs. James Cook University in NQ introduced a Corporate Health and Rehabilitation role in 2004.Its increased focus on OHS issues together with its staff wellness initiatives resulted in a 40% reduction in their Workcover premium by 2010. They also reduced their return to work following a stress claim from 18months to 3months. This is just one example of the cost reduction in financial and personal terms when employers embrace the wholistic approach to staff wellbeing.
Luke anticipates that the increased energy and wellbeing experienced by the SafetyCulture team will be reflected in their interactions with customers. “We also want our staff to love what they do and enjoy working for SafetyCulture and supporting our staff’s health and wellbeing is part of creating that culture.”