Corporate wellbeing has moved from the ‘nice to have’ list to being ‘the bedrock of a high performing culture’. Gone are the days where a fruit bowl and gym membership are enough to tick the box. Business leaders now need to understand the scientific, measurable connection between physically and mentally healthy employees, and optimal performance.
Research indicates that when people are thriving both inside and outside of work they are likely to be six times more engaged, have 70% fewer safety incidents, and be 29% more productive. On the flipside, untreated mental health disorders are estimated to cost Australian businesses $10.9 billion a year.
Business leaders who see the value in building enterprise-wide wellbeing and performance ecosystems are deriving the greatest results for their employees and organisations. When these initiatives are integrated at every level, they create a thriving culture and work environment.
This has been our experience at KPMG in Perth thanks to the introduction of Revitalise. The program, designed for KPMG Partners, saw the group reduce five years in bio-age and increase their communication and connectivity to colleagues by 10%.
At Boral, Wayne Reade, Head of People & Transformation, accredits the success of Boral’s Zero Harm program to “combining physiological biometric data, and nutritional, fitness and sleep education initiatives, tailored to a team’s operating environment”. Boral has built a cohesive culture of safety and performance.
In addition to the ecosystem approach, there are some other trends to watch:
- Data integration – wearable devices provide metrics such as heart rate variability and sleep quality to provide visibility on fatigue, vigilance and concentration.
- Inside-out programs – support employees outside of working hours. They are relevant to FIFO industries where compliance is the baseline, but lifestyle changes are the goal.
- Virtual reality training – expertise and critical decision-making is enhanced using workplace simulators – suited to emergency services, maritime and aviation sectors.
- Nature-based programs – increasing as scientific studies confirm the positive effects of time spent outdoors.
With a strong history of innovation, Western Australia is uniquely positioned to take the lead on driving an ecosystem approach to wellbeing, and creating a workforce that is thriving.