POLICIES AND PERKS: Flexible work hours, on-site gyms, healthy eating programs and childcare facilities rate highly when employees are considering changing jobs.
POLICIES AND PERKS: Flexible work hours, on-site gyms, healthy eating programs and childcare facilities rate highly when employees are considering changing jobs. bluegame

Wellness is the new buzzword in the workplace

HALF of us would leave our jobs if our employers failed to meet our health and well-being needs.

According to a survey from recruitment firm Robert Walters, one in two professionals would leave their jobs if they felt their workplace well-being program fell short of their requirements.

Further, for employees who are looking to move on, policies and perks such as flexible work hours, on-site gyms, healthy eating programs and childcare facilities rate highly when searching for their next job.

James Nicholson, managing director – ANZ at Robert Walters, said some of the world’s most successful and innovative organisations invest great time, energy and resources into creating workplaces that embrace wellness and consider it a vital part of their business strategy.

“In Australia and New Zealand, businesses and their employees appreciate the importance of health and well-being programs, but just how much?” he said.

“Many managers may be surprised to find that half of their workforce considers health and well-being such a priority that they would be ready to jump ship, should their needs not be met.

“The results indicate that there is ample room for improvement.”

While many medium to large companies have well-being programs (64% of those surveyed), only one in three (29%) have a program that is effective, well-implemented and highly utilised.

Employers who are not meeting their employees’ health and well-being needs face staggering costs, with absenteeism alone costing businesses an estimated $578 per employee per day (adding up to a $44billion annual cost to the Australian economy).

Half of those surveyed said they would take more time off if they were experiencing well-being issues and did not receive support from their employer; while more than 40% would put in less effort at work; and 26% would start resenting their employer.

While 50% of employees would be prepared to leave if well-being wasn’t a workplace priority, the majority of hiring managers – more than 80% – did not believe that employees would leave if their health and well-being were not adequately supported.

Around half of hiring managers and employees agree their organisation’s health and well-being practices could be improved (59% of managers and 56% of employees), so they can be better utilised – and a key element of executing a program successfully is how active senior management is in driving and supporting the implementation of the program.


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