Is it Time to Prioritise your Employee Wellbeing Program?

Is it Time to Prioritise your Employee Wellbeing Program?

Ever wondered if it would be worth incorporating a corporate/employee wellbeing program into your workplace benefits?

According to My Short Lister (2021) and Hunter Link (2021), we’ve done the hard work for you and found the statistics and evidence!

How do employees benefit from Wellness Programs?

  • 70% of employees enrolled in wellness programs have reported higher job satisfaction than those not enrolled in the company’s program;
  • Employees are more likely to recommend a company that supports well-being, as a great place to work;
  • 56% of employees have fewer sick days because of wellness programs;
  • Employee morale is cited as the most improved (54%) metric from implementing wellness plans;
  • 62% of participants in a wellness plan said that is helped them lower healthcare costs;
  • Increased productivity;
  • Improved engagement;
  • Encourages innovation;

How employers benefit from Wellness Programs?

  • Increased productivity from their employees;
  • Reduced accidents and incidents;
  • Reduced absenteeism;
  • Increased staff engagement and retention;
  • Positions your company for an employer of choice;
  • 63% of employers offering wellness programs reported increased financial sustainability and growth;
  • For every US dollar spent on wellness programs, the company saves $5.82 in lower employee absenteeism costs;
  • About 77% of employees agree that workplace wellness programs can help reduce costs;
  • Employees feel their needs are recognised and valued and goodwill and collaboration is more prominent;

What are some ideas to incorporate into your wellness program?

  • Yearly health assessments, measuring heart health, diabetes screening and cholesterol screening (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Yearly skin checks (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Education sessions on healthy eating and physical activity in the workplace (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Free flu shots for employees on site (reducing sick days and minimising the time spent away from work, offered by WHS Vic);
  • Offer workshops on stress management in the workplace(offered by WHS Vic);
  • Bike sharing program;
  • Lunchtime walking group;
  • Lunchtime meditation;
  • Mental health training workshops (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Resiliency and positive psychology (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Corporate yoga/pilates classes;
  • Team fitness challenges – ie. the team who runs the most km’s for the month wins a prize;
  • Gym membership subsidies;
  • Team games;
  • Corporate team cooking classes;
  • Healthy cooking demonstrations;
  • Nutrition seminars (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Men’s and Women’s Health Seminars (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Corporate massages;
  • Corporate retreats;
Ride to Work Day

Ride to Work Day

Tomorrow is Ride to Work Day! 

Why don’t you give it a go? Given COVID-19 interrupted “normal” working arrangements this year, a lot of our population is working from home. You could try a ride before work or a lunchtime break!

According to Bicycle Network (2020), some benefits of starting your day with a ride (or walk) to work are:

  • Improved general health: A regular ride to work can help reduce the risks associated with physical inactivity including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, obesity and depression.
  • Increased productivity: Businesses that encourage staff to cycle to work benefit from increased productivity as a result of improved fitness and mental health.
  • Saved money: People who ride to work not only save time and get fit, but save from $6000-$15,000 which is usually spent on fuel, car repairs, public transport tickets and parking.
  • Saved time: A 5-10km ride to work will only take 15-30 minutes on average. In peak-hour city trips up to 10km are generally faster by bike than any other form of transport, door to door.
  • Care for the environment: Cycling is a zero emission transport. Riding 10km each way to work instead of driving saves 1.3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Workplace Health & Safety Victoria offer workplaces and private homes exercise equipment hire. You can check out what we have to offer here –

What is Workplace Health and how can we help you?

What is Workplace Health and how can we help you?

‘Most of our waking hours are spent at work, which means the working environment can play a big part in our health and well-being’ – Health Direct (2018).

Workplace Health and Safety Victoria’s aim is to provide employers with services which encourage holistically a happy and healthy workplace setting, which in turns saves your business’ back pocket!  

What services can we provide your business?

  • Workplace Health Assessments;
  • Drug & Alcohol Testing;
  • Flu & Travel Vaccinations;
  • Workplace Health Education;
  • Equipment Hire;
  • Education;

‘Poor employee health is costing Australian businesses $7 billion annually’ – SmartCompany (2019).  

We believe that early intervention is the key to your happy workplace and loss of employer income due to ill-health.

What are the benefits of implementing workplace health within your business?

  • Reduced absenteeism;
  • Increased productivity;
  • Reduced staff turnover;
  • Improved staff morale;
  • Reduced insurance costs;
  • Reduced risk of fines and litigation;
  • A positive and caring image;

‘Most of our waking hours are spent at work, which means the working environment can play a big part in our health and well-being’ – Health Direct (2018).

Workplace Health and Safety Victoria’s aim is to provide employers with services which encourage holistically a happy and healthy workplace setting, which in turns saves your business’ back pocket!  

What services can we provide your business?

  • Workplace Health Assessments:
  • Drug & Alcohol Testing;
  • Flu & Travel Vaccinations;
  • Workplace Education;
  • Equipment Hire;
  • Education;

Workplace Health Assessments:
Workplace Health and Safety Victoria offer workplaces an array of services to maximise the health of your employees, minimising unnecessary costs to your business. Our clinical nurse consultant visits your workplace for your convenience. 

Pre-employment medical assessments are a workforce risk management tool used to assess an individual’s risk factors that may limit their ability to perform a job safely and effectively. Due to the extent of the tests required, we offer your employee to visit our clinic for a thorough assessment with our GP. Our pre-employment medicals are customised to suit the requirements of the job.

Our assessments can include:

  • Urine, Drug and Alcohol screening
  • Audiograms
  • Vision tests
  • Blood pressure
  • Full Spirometry (Lung function)
  • Body mass index
  • Urine analysis
  • Strength tests
  • Joint range of motion
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Optional Assessments:

  • Spinal Assessment
  • DorsaVi (Specific muscular skeletal testing)
  • Skin Checks
  • Functional Capacity Assessments
  • Chest X-ray
  • MRI

*A range of other tests can be included on request when required.

Drug & Alcohol Testing;

“Alcohol and drugs cost Australian workplaces an estimated $6 billion per year in lost productivity.” – Alcohol and Drug Foundation (2017)

The use of drugs and alcohol can impact on workplaces in several ways, affecting relationships, safety and productivity:

  • Alcohol and drugs cost Australian workplaces an estimated $6 billion per year in lost productivity;
  • Recent research has estimated that 2.5 million days are lost annually due to drinking and drug use, at a cost of more than $680 million;
  • 1 in 10 workers say they have been affected by a co-worker’s use of alcohol. For example, a reduced ability to do their own job, involvement in an accident or close-call, and having to work extra hours to cover for a co-worker; (Alcohol and Drug Foundation – 2017)

Impact of Drug and Alcohol Abuse:

According to NCADI statistics, alcohol and drug users:

  • Are far less productive;
  • Use three times as many sick days;
  • Are more likely to injure themselves or someone else;
  • Are five times more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim

In addition, to deaths and accidents, absenteeism and loss of production, other problems that alcohol and drug abuse can cause on the job include:

  • Tardiness/sleeping on the job;
  • Hangover or withdrawal affecting job performance;
  • Poor decision making;
  • Loss of efficiency;
  • Theft;
  • Lower morale of co-workers;
  • Increased likelihood of having trouble with co-workers/supervisors or tasks;
  • Preoccupation with obtaining and using substances while at work, interfering with attention and concentration;
  • Illegal activities at work including selling illicit drugs to other employees;
  • Higher turnover;
  • Disciplinary procedures;
    (Very Well Mind, 2020)

How can Workplace Health and Safety Victoria help your workplace?

  • On-site testing;
  • In clinic testing;
  • Pre-employment testing;
  • Training and education – A workplace drug testing program partly represents an employer’s effort to keep the environment at work safe for everyone;

Our accredited drug & alcohol testers can visit your workplace and conduct drug and alcohol testing or your staff can come to either of our conveniently located practices, Myers Street Family Medical Practice or The Cottage Medical Centre.  We use saliva and/or urine drug testing tools along with our state-of-the-art breathalysers.

All results that are non-negative are sent to the laboratory and verified by a second more specific test before it is considered a positive. Chain of Custody protocols are always strictly adhered to  and all information kept discreetly ensuring the privacy of employees and employers alike.

Education is an important part of drug and alcohol testing and we encourage all of our companies to be pro-active in this area so that everyone involved understands that this is a positive initiative that will benefit employees and employers.

Flu & Travel Vaccinations:

“On average, the flu causes an estimated 3,500 deaths in Australia each year” (2018)

What is influenza?

Influenza is a respiratory illness commonly known as ‘the flu’. While most people recover form the flu in about a week, sometimes the flu can lead to other serious health problems such as bronchitis or pneumonia and in some cases, can be deadly – (2018).

What are an employee’s chances of getting the flu?

Each year, about 5-10% of people in Australian communities get the flu. Some years, it can be as high as 20%. This means, the chances of employees getting the flu is 1 in 5 – (NIB – 2019).

Signs and Symptoms of the flu:

  • Fever and chills;
  • Cough, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose;
  • Muscle aches, joint pains, headaches and fatigue;
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea;

It is important to seek immediate medical advice if the illness quickly becomes worse or if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing;
  • Chest pain;
  • Confusion or sudden dizziness;
  • Persistent vomiting;

Symptoms generally appear between two or four days after exposure.
( – 2019).

If an employee is sick with flu-like symptoms, they should stay at home until these symptoms have subsided.

What can employers do to avoid the flu?

  • Encourage employees to get vaccinated;
  • Take steps to minimise spread of infection by educating their staff of signs and symptoms;
  • The provision of cough and hand hygiene materials in the workplace such as antibacterial gel, tissues, etc;

( – 2019)

What can employees do to avoid the flu?

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet containing plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit;
  • Get the flu shot;
  • Aim for at least 7 hours per night;
  • Keep your distance if another employee comes to work with the flu;
  • Consult your manager if another employee comes to work with the flu;
  • Keep your workstation sanitised and practice good hygiene, especially after touching doorknobs, kitchen appliances, handrails and water fountains;

(EmploySure – 2019)

How does the flu shot work?

Australian flu vaccines expose the immune system to tiny amounts of the inactivated flu virus. The body then produces its own antibodies (which fight infections) and therefore, when the body is exposed to surface proteins of the flu, the person’s immune system will recognise these proteins and fight them.

Workplace Health and Safety Victoria are also able to provide your employees with travel vaccines.

Workplace Health Education:

We believe that they key to a happy and healthy workplace is prevention.

We provide workplaces health education sessions for the following but not excluded to:

  • Ergonomics;
  • Healthy diet and exercise;
  • The effects of drugs and alcohol on the body and it’s performance;
  • Health awareness including heart health, ovarian cancer, bowel cancer awareness or recommendations by you;
  • Preventing and managing health conditions;
  • Mental Health Awareness and managing;
  • Managing workplace stress;
  • Skin health awareness;
  • Diabetes awareness and management;

Please get in touch if you have a specific topic you would like us to educate your employees on.

Equipment Hire:

Through our sister-company ’30 Minute Fitness’, we hire out the following fitness equipment to encourage your employees to exercise for 30 minutes per day:

  • Treadmills;
  • Exercise Bicycles;
  • Elliptical cross trainers;