“WE WANT TO KEEP STAFF HAPPY AND HEALTHY”

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - SURVEY -

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.”

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