Home' HR Monthly : April 2015 Contents 34
FEATURE: HEALTH AND WELLBEING
For companies struggling to set up and run health and
wellbeing programs, outsourcing is an option but it isn’t a case
of one size fits all, says Grenfell.
“Each organisation is along a different trajectory to
promoting health and wellbeing. For example, you might
find through a staff survey that only five per cent smoke – so
why have a [broad-based] smoking cessation program?
Instead, it should be targeted.
“Or it may be that your industry has specific physical
parameters. You might have construction sites where people
need strengthening programs focusing on knee and back care,
as opposed to more general programs promoting being active.”
Hidden mental illness
In the area of mental health, almost half of all adult
Australians say they have experienced a mental disorder at
some point in their lives, according to the Australian Bu reau
of Statistics. Mental illness costs Australia about $20 billion
a year, including lost productivity and reduced labour force
participation, the ABS reports.
In many cases, employers aren’t aware of mental illness
among their employees. Research shows that about 40 per
cent of Australian employees don’t tell their employer about
it, compared to around 25 per cent in Europe, says Jack
Heath, chief executive of the national mental health charity
“There’s a big issue here in terms of people feeling
comfortable raising the issue in the workplace,” says Heath.
SANE Australia has a bank of more than 60 speakers who
help companies begin conversations about mental illness.
“When we do workplace presentations, we always make a
point of taking along someone who has experienced mental
illness themselves, and invariably they’ll be people from a
corporate background,” says Heath.
Small business focus
The self- employed and business owners also need looking
after when it comes to mental health, says Peter Strong, a
former retailer who is chief executive of the Council of Small
Business of Australia. He would like to see greater emphasis
put on supporting sole operators and small businesses
because they often don’t have the time or resources to focus
on health and wellbeing.
The 2015 AHRI Awards program includes a Mental Health in
the Workplace Award and a Health and Wellbeing Award. Visit
ahri.com.au /awards for more information.
Mike McKay, OAM, (right) was one of the famed
‘Oarsome Foursome’ Olympic rowers. Now, he’s
a health and lifestyle expert with 15 years of
experience in delivering health programs to clients
including YMCA, AXA , BT and Priceline.
McKay, business and relationships director at
SiSU Wellness, says demand for external health consultants is favouring tailored
programs using technology backed by personal support.
Using an external provider enables companies to scale programs as need be,
he says. “For some organisations, it’s bells and whistles. For others, it’s basically
‘Give me some data and we can add targeted programs as we go.’”
SiSU Wellness’s health station, a physical unit that resembles gym equipment
merged with a video booth, can be placed on site. It can assess risk factors
including blood pressure, body mass index and resting heart rate of up to 180
people a day without the need to employ a nurse.
Triple Olympic swim medallist Matt Welsh (left)
is another corporate health ambassador. Working
for BUPA, he goes on site to introduce wellness
programs and encourage participation.
“ Yo u can’t do anything for someone who doesn’t
want [to make changes],” he admits. “That’s the
key – being able to get people who need to make a
change, to help them see it as a priority.”
MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF A HEALTH & WELLBEING PROGRAM
The Workplace Health Association Australia Best Practice Guidelines
recommend a comprehensive evaluation strategy that involves:
1. Clear goals and objectives;
2. An ef fective data management system which provides clear, simple, accessible
and aggreg ated data in a meaningful format;
3. Valid and reliable methods and measurements;
4. Process, impact and outcome evaluation, using both qualitative and
• Process evaluation: evaluates the implementation of strategies (e.g.
prog ram satisfaction, quality of programs delivered, participation and
prog ram reach);
• Impact: measures whether the program met its objectives (e.g . health
awareness, staff morale);
• Outcome: evaluates the long-term ef fect of the program, specifically
whether the program met its goal (e.g . improvement in employee health
status, ROI, policy development);
5. An annual review mechanism to regularly scrutinise and review performance.
This includes reaf firming management approval, redefining management
expectations, and repeating the needs assessment;
6. Linkage to org anisational key performance indicators (e.g . worker
compensation costs, absenteeism);
7. Internal and exter nal benchmarking;
8. Dissemination of results to senior leadership, key stakeholders and employees.
For more inFormation and to register visit
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Perth, 18 JuNe
the scieNce of motiVatioN
The AHRI Breakfast Club is a series of vibrant
and thought-provoking events for Australia’s
Throughout May and June, motivational strategy
and design expert, Dr Jason Fox, will discuss
motivation, progress and change in the workplace
and how to empower your employees to succeed.
Come along for an energising session, gain
valuable connections and make the most of
AHRI members receive discounted princing.
23/03/15 4:58 PM
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