Council a leader in employee health and wellbeing

Published: 03 Jun 2019

Council is taking great strides in promoting the health and wellbeing of its workers.

These efforts have been recognised at the LGMA Queensland Awards for Excellence in Brisbane, taking out the top award in the Workplace Wellbeing category.

The wellbeing of employees has had a long association with Workplace Health and Safety, which has been and remains a priority of council.

However, council is also driving a greater understanding of how to create and sustain a healthy workplace.

CEO Craig Doyle said this understanding was at the forefront of council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017-2020.

“Our council has an enviable health and safety record that is paying off in many ways,’’ he said.

“As a part of that effort, there were some initiatives that tackled the much harder issue of workplace wellbeing, which just weren’t getting the traction needed.

“So, in 2017, the health and wellbeing elements of the Health and Safety Strategy were split out to allow for a more detailed review and effort.”

The new Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017-2020 took a critical look at the success of previous initiatives and then reset to focus on employee health and wellbeing, rather than just the workplace.

Mr Doyle said there were now four themes to health and wellbeing that were interconnected in several ways.

“Those themes of financial, social, mental and physical health and wellbeing have always permeated society and workplaces, so the strategy has been delivering many different initiatives to draw them to the forefront of employees’ thinking at work,” he said.

“The real value has been in allowing employees to engage at their own pace with the workplace initiatives.”

First and foremost, council kept everything that was working.

“Smart initiatives, such as annual free physical health checks and influenza vaccinations, remain as employees can see a direct benefit to them,’’ Mr Doyle said.

“Building on those, however, are possible broader health prevention programs or follow-up advice on the health checks,’’ he said.

“It is a menu approach to initiatives, so employees can pick and choose what suits them best at that point in time.”

In addition to those, some big steps have been made in the areas of domestic and family violence, mental health, mental health first aid and soon-to-be-delivered financial health initiatives for council’s most economically vulnerable staff.

“Everybody’s health and wellbeing are now a part of this strategy,’’ the CEO said.

Council was also a finalist in the Apprentice and Trainee category at the awards.