This year I celebrate my ‘sweet 16’ (again!).
That’s 16 years working within corporate wellness, in which I’ve had the pleasure & good fortune of working alongside some of the industry’s best professionals, both nationally & internationally, & making a difference to both the wellness of employees & their organisations.
In this time, the industry has undergone a significant evolutionary process.
Yet, whilst the field has developed & gained momentum in Australia since the late 1970’s, we have lagged considerably behind our international counterparts, particularly Europe & North America.
That’s until now!
A wellness revolution (or ‘Wellvolution’ as I like to term it) is now taking hold in Australia. The industry has moved beyond its ‘nice to have’ or ‘right thing to do” image, as Australian business leaders recognise that“well employees = well organisations.
This ‘Wellvolution’ has led to a spike in organisations implementing corporate wellness programs, with key drivers including managing an ageing workforce, workers compensation costs, corporate social responsibility & being an ‘employer of choice’. It is also reflected in the growing demand for green buildings, work-life policies, flexible work practices, & provision of onsite amenities such as gymnasiums & childcare facilities.1
In Australia, 96% of ‘Best Practice’ organisations implemented health & wellbeing initiatives in the last 12 months.2 These organisations are reaping the benefits of such programs, including greater job satisfaction, reduced staff-related costs, improved employee engagement, less absenteeism, higher productivity & , ultimately, higher profits.
The current ‘Wellvolution’ is attributed to multiple factors – political, economic, technological, safety, injury management & public health developments & many more! It has also been given a significant boost by the Federal & State governments recent commitment to the National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health ‘Healthy Workers’ initiative.3
The ‘Healthy Workers’ initiative will provide $294.6 million in funding for health promotion in workplaces & focuses on key modifiable lifestyle behaviours such as smoking & physical inactivity. It will support healthy living programs & capacity building activities in workplaces across Australia. This will no doubt encourage lot of Australian organisations, particularly those who have been ‘toying’ with the idea, to join the ‘Wellvolution’.
In summary, the stars appear to be finally aligning for corporate wellness as governments, employers & industry bodies collectively move forward. An increased focus over the coming decades will deliver benefits for the Australian economy, businesses & employees alike. A win-win scenario! Hence, isn’t it time your workplace joined the ‘Wellvolution’?
Need help to create a ‘Wellvolution’ for your organisation? Contact Wellness Designs today on 1300 914 558 or visit www.wellnessdesigns.com.au
- Wesley Corporate Health (2006) ‘The Future at Work Health Report’.
- Managing Work Life Balance International (2007) 10th Annual Work Life Balance Benchmarking Study
- Council of Australian Governments (2008) National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health