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There is a significant appetite for wellbeing programs in the workplace but interestingly this doesn’t always translate well into implementation.

We all know we should act to support healthier workplaces; encourage mental health engagement and support; improve environments for incidental activity and create positive change.

  • So why does it feel so hard to shift this knowledge into actions?
  • How realistic is it to implement a great wellbeing program?
  • Where is the evidence that wellbeing counts?
  • And how can wellbeing programs be customised to achieve the best outcomes?

It’s incredibly exciting to realise that we all want to make a healthy change! Answering these common challenges and concerns has been central to developing our wellbeing solutions and it can be a lot simpler than you may think.

Accepting that Change is Hard

Dr Roy Sugarman, a neuroscientist whose research underpins the AltiusLife digital platform/app highlights the challenges we face in changing the most simple habits.

This is reinforced again and again through our own experiences as research show our brains our hardwired not to change without repeating behaviours again and again. Have you successfully stuck to a New Years resolution? Embarked on a diet or exercise program that you have stuck to a year later? Tried to implement healthier practices in your workplace? Accepting that it’s normal for change to take time, that there will always be challenges and that it is often the small steps that make a difference helps make goals realistic. 

Is it Really Realistic to Implement a Great Wellbeing Program?

Think about past wellbeing options promoted in your organisation - lunchtime yoga, a walking group or a fruit box? These options tend to be deployed at random without a clear strategy and overwhelmingly engage and target those already embracing a healthy lifestyle. How do we support an organisation as a whole?

So often organisations jump in at a program level or engage adhoc services. Our experience and evidence tells us that without some key steps including - engagement of key personnel, strategic planning, collection of data, customised implementation and planning and ongoing support - programs tend to be hard to measure and are not seen as engaging for the majority of employees. Remember the Australian adult population data* shows: 

  • 1 in 2 Australians (50%) have at least one prominent chronic condition, such as arthritis, asthma, back pain or cardiovascular disease.
  • Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia
  • Key Risk Factors: high body mass, high alcohol use, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, tobacco use

Approaching workplace wellbeing in a holistic way to include physical, mental and social health is key. The use of digital tools to build data and evidence and the delivery of content and programs by experienced allied health professions ensures a measurable and customised program, inclusive of an entire employee population.

Where is the Evidence that Wellbeing Counts?

How do you measure impact of the wellbeing dollar? Studies now show the ROI on a customised wellbeing program delivers between $3-$6 per $1 invested. The PWC Report focusses on mental health with significant benefits to wellbeing $ directed in this space. The evidence is overwhelming - inclusive, evidence based wellbeing programs supported by allied health professionals deliver financial benefits, help improve employee engagement and retention and create more productive workplaces.

How Can Your Wellbeing Program be Customised?

Have you ever found that you are limited in customisation through the expertise available, location challenges or through being able to simplify delivery by engaging one provider?  Perhaps your approach is not fully integrated and inclusive?

The customisable Altius Group Wellbeing Program is enabled by our expertise across mental and social health (clinical and organisational psychologists, EAP) and physical health (occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists).

In addition, the AltiusLife digital wellbeing app/platform – underpins all programs and this can be branded and customised for any organisation. We know that this unique combination of an adaptable digital wellbeing app and face to face delivery solutions work to support many delivery challenges and optimise engagement. We also offer digital support to reach employees in remote locations and shift workers.

Overcoming these challenges really can convert your “wish to support wellbeing” to “proactively managing wellbeing” creating easy, evidence based programs supporting the potential within your organisations.

Susannah Miall

Altius Group

Group Corporate Wellbeing Specialist

*(self-reporting in the 2014-15 National Health Survey ABS)