What workplace wellness topic makes you ‘pufferfish’?

In her recent special for Netflix, Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby jokes about the things, call them her pet hates, that make her blow up just like a prickly pufferfish.

We’re a pretty calm bunch here at Wellness Designs but there’s one thing in particular that brings out our inner pufferfish.

And that is the failure of organisations to build their capability to drive, own and embed their wellness strategy…and wonder why ‘wellness’ hasn’t worked.

When visiting workplaces across Australia, we often see:

  • scattergun initiatives that are typically ‘run off the side of the desk’by an enthusiastic but overloaded staff member, who is struggling to ‘do wellness’ in addition to their ‘real’ job, and often without the required training or resources
  • the passionate wellness person leaves the company, and all their hard work falls into a heap, momentum is lost, and the company has to start over
  • organisations simply relying on external providers to deliver their overall wellness strategy.

Sound familiar?

You need skilled and capable inhouse personnel – from senior leaders to frontline employees – to action your strategy and be accountable, and ultimately build a culture where wellness becomes ‘business as usual’.

Building capability within your organisation requires focus on what we call the 3E’s:

  1. Firstly, you need to ENABLE the leaders in your organisation. Leadership support is critical for a healthy and thriving business. Your leaders need to be well to lead well, to be effective, resilient and high performing leaders. Research and experience reiterates that a leaders style and behaviour not only impacts on job satisfaction bur also stress, safety, health behaviours and engagement with a wellness strategy.
  2. Secondly, you need to EMPOWER your key personnel, Wellness Manager or equivalent, to lead your strategy. Increasingly organisations across Australia and New Zealand are recognising the need for skilled and capable personnel to do this. In fact, Workplace Wellbeing Managers were voted in the Top 10 best jobs in Australia for desirability and growth in 2018, driven by corporates looking to bring wellbeing for workers into focus. Finally, after 25 years working in the field, we’re on-trend!
  3. And thirdly, you need to ENERGISE your employees at a grassroots level. Research and experience suggests that the most successful wellness strategies are supported by a network of enthusiastic champions at a site or department based level. In fact, the latest Buck Consultants global Working Well survey (2018) revealed 48% of organisations were using local Wellbeing Champions and 78% of these believed there was a correlation between champion effort and employee engagement in wellness. Ultimately, they serve the eyes and ears of your strategy, and play a critical role in providing peer support, increasing awareness and building a wellness culture a local level.

You can learn more about how you can build your organisation’s internal capability by tuning into our webinar showcasing how two companies – Bupa and the University of Sydney – are leading the way in building their internal capability and leveraging their leaders, dedicated wellness personnel and site-based champions as change agents within the business. You can also learn about building a Wellness Champions network in these case studies from Bupa and the University of Sydney.

With a champions network we’re able to reach in through the middle of our organisation and really drive our strategy deeply into parts of the organisation where it really matters to staff”

Julia Cohen, Director Safety, Health and Wellbeing, University of Sydney

Want to build your internal capability to drive your wellness strategy to the next level? Wellness Designs has three different levels of training, mentoring and our online The Hub  to build the skills and capability of your personnel.

Get in touch today and start building the skills of your wellness team.

Photo from left to right: Diana Black, Employee Health & Wellbeing Manager Bupa, Katrina Walton, Director/Founder Wellness Designs and Julia Cohen, Director Safety, Health & Wellbeing University of Sydney