“WE WANT TO KEEP STAFF HAPPY AND HEALTHY”
Steven Azzopardi, health and wellbeing manager at Toyota Australia, reveals the benefits of implementing a corporate wellness strategy
“In 2017, Toyota Australia put an end to on-shore manufacturing and, as a result, we needed to reassess the risk profile of our organisation. Although we need to keep a focus on OH& S hazards like slips, trips and falls in areas such as our warehouses, this change has given us the opportunity to focus on emerging hazards, such as mental health and general wellbeing. We chose to complete the Medibank Wellbeing@ Work Index survey to get a better understanding of what our workers really needed.
The survey revealed some of our employees were not getting quality sleep each night. So, together with Medibank, we’re working to implement strategies to remedy that. We’re going to start educating people on what good sleep is, how to improve sleep and also identify the issues affecting their sleep.
Although we’ve always offered an employee assistance program, with a weekly psychologist visit, our leaders will soon take part in training to teach them how to identify the early warning signs of mental-health issues. That way, they’ll be better equipped to help identify when people are struggling at work or home, and offer assistance. We also have a team of certified mental-health first aiders on site, because we want to create an environment that encourages employees to discuss their issues.
Because we know a lot of our workers care about physical health, we’ve introduced walking meetings and company-wide fitness initiatives on top of our yearly flu-vaccine program. And the staff have really embraced it. People have different reasons for why they can’t work out, and we want to address as many of them as possible, so we also offer subsidised gym memberships and are looking to build an on-site gym.
We want our employees to feel trusted and respected at work, and to know that if they raise a problem, action will be taken. Attracting quality workers is always a top priority, but the ultimate goal is to keep them healthy and happy so that they stay.”