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We’ve seen lots of ‘a-ha’ moments from clients this year realising that investment in employee wellness is critical to remaining competitive in a global economy. So, what have been some of the top trends driving this awakening by organisations? In this two-part series, we list our top 9 trends. Miss the first part of this series? Click here to read the first five trends.

Trend #6. Workplaces are standing up & speaking out against domestic violence

One in three women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. Plus, it is estimated that 65% are in paid employment. It’s therefore encouraging to see workplaces taking active steps to stop violence against women. Not withstanding the heartbreaking impact for individuals, the flow on impacts to the workplace & economy is also well documented. Earlier in December, Queensland became the first jurisdiction to legislate paid domestic & family violence for public sector workers. At the time of writing, various Labor state premiers & unions are calling for a new national standard of 10 days paid leave for victims.

Trend #7. Global ‘unwellness’ is on the rise

At the recent Global Wellness Summit economist Thierry Malleret outlined the macroeconomic shifts that will impact the future of wellness. A key paradox is how despite our age of unprecedented global economic abundance, global unwellness (obesity, early mortality, mental illness/depression) is on the rise. With the skyrocketing cost of chronic diseases ($47 trillion worldwide over the next 20 years, 30 percent of GDP), & a world aging like never before (800 million people now over 60), he concludes that wellness can no longer be optional. Worth a watch. It’s probably not surprising then that  recent research also suggests 76% of Australians want increased government funding for preventive health.

Trend #8. Bullying at work is rife & attempts to combat it are failing

New research from Beyond Blue suggests 50% of Australian workers will experience some form of workplace bullying in their lives. Bullying is estimated to cost Australian organisations between $6 billion & $36 billion a year. However, the research found traditional methods used to combat bullying are failing & can sometimes make the situation worse. I know I have been at the receiving end (as were a number of my colleagues at the time) in a previous corporate role, & the response when raised with HR was ‘Oh, that’s just Jane & how she is’. Not okay!

Trend #9. Workplace Wellness “Programs” shift to a total culture of wellness
Recent research conducted by the Global Wellness Institute confirms that the approach to workplace wellness is changing radically. The current “program” mentality is dying a natural death because it’s not working. Instead organisations are striving to foster a wellness culture, through adopting a holistic, integrated & strategic approach to health, safety & wellness management. Companies are replacing “ROI” obsessions with measuring broader value-on-investment, whether it be attracting & retaining top talent or boosting morale & engagement. Hopefully the WHAA certified Wellness Wise™ Practitioner training program will serve to further drive this trend into the future….