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How to Increase Employee Wellness

Capture a Workplace Culture of Wellness by Being An Agent of Change

With mental health and wellbeing issues continuing to escalate each year world-wide, and with Australia spending over $10B annually on issues such as absenteeism, presenteeism and lost productivity, how can companies instigate cultural change, sustainable employee engagement, and adopt wellness as a “bottom-line-increasing” strategy? Celine Healy shares her inclusive approach of changing workplace cultures by implementing strategies of sustainable employee engagement and personal energy management. (Celine will present a workshop at the Behavioural & Mental Health Conference in November, in Melbourne.)
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“Employee wellness not only increases productivity and overall profit to an organisation; the widespread benefits have ripple effects that can create cultural change!” Laura Putnam
In Australia research indicates the uptake (by an employee in need of help) for self-nomination for an Employee Assessment Plan is around 6-7%.
The Australian Psychological Society Study 0f 2015 indicated these findings:
• 87% (cumulative figure) of employees were depressed: mild, medium or severe.
• 49% of employees felt their employer did not care about their mental health or wellbeing, or felt their employer did not value their contribution
If only between 6-7% are seeking help, what is happening to the other 80%?
These figures imply that workplace culture is deficient and there is a disconnect between workers and management, and, necessarily a level of disengagement. Culturally, this shows an implied acceptance that a position of “lack” and a culture of “non-wellbeing” is acceptable.
An inclusive approach
The figures indicate the majority of the workforce is in need of help. What can be done? In order to be able to change the culture of an organisation, not only do you need leadership and management buy-in, you need to be able to foster engagement so that employees feel the organisation has their best interests at heart. Management needs to show by example, then adopt a way of communicating that on every level, via language, newsletters, posters and the instigation of “entire organisation programs”, that not only motivate and inspire employees, but also those that are easy to implement. The culture needs to be inclusive: how can we all adopt and implement these changes together?
Mental health issues within an organisation indicate a serious energy management problem, as well as a management disconnect (them v. us mentality), which leads to an employee engagement issue. Loss of engagement leads to an overall cultural issue of “lack” being an acceptable mode of operation. Disengaged employees feel management do not care about their wellbeing or value their contribution. These issues all revolve around energy depletion management.
The impact on an organisation of depleted energy, fatigue, or exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed, depressed or feeling anxious, can be significant and can create low productivity, efficiency and have bottom line effects on profits.Tired staff means a tired organisation! This position of “lack” pervades the culture. The language used will indicate this, e.g. ‘we are all exhausted here and that is the way it is and that is acceptable behaviour and an acceptable way of being in this workplace!’
So, what can you do about this?
When a person comes from a position of lack: lack of energy, resources skills, social or emotional intelligence and so on, the ripple effect throughout an organisation can be devastating. Research indicates the new approach is to help employees repair the body first and by implication this will flow onto an improved mindset. This means helping them increase their energy. Increased energy will help changean employees’ mindset by default. Simple energy management programs can change the individual’s baseline resilience to stress issues.
Successful people and organisations instigate change one- step- at- a- time and obtain buy-in on each level from leaders down. In this way they will subtly change the culture of the organisation from a position of “lack” to one of becoming a preferred employer of choice.
Ingrained new success habits need to be implemented to increase focus, awareness, and increased engagement, and an overall increased positive mindset.
Sustainable employee engagement comes from being consistent, taking action, one step at a time, despite the current circumstance. This requires an agent of change, someone who will fightto improve the environment and the rights of employees to not only feel safe and free from harassment, but also to be fully engaged in work they enjoy doing and which will benefit themselves and the organisation.
Capturing a culture of Workplace Wellbeing and having employees engagedmore meaningfully and sustainably because they now have the energy to alter their position of feelings of “lack” to those of “abundance”, requires that special someone in the organisation to step up, and be, thatagent of change.
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Business: Stress to Success and
Celine Healy Consulting
Ph: 0408 646 887
www.stresstosuccess.com.au and
www.celinehealy.com

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