You’ve probably heard of employee wellness programs. Your company may even have one or two of them. These programs often focus on the physical health of employees by offering gym memberships, smoking cessation incentives, vaccination programs during flu season, or other ways to get their team healthier.
The idea is by keeping employees fit and healthy means they shouldn’t miss work as often.
But we all have needs that go beyond our physical health. Financial stress, childcare concerns, grief, and other mental well-being concerns can just as easily keep us from being our best at work.
So now, the best companies have taken more holistic views, and focus their initiatives on their employees’ physical and mental well-being.
Many companies publish statements about commitments to safety and zero-harm. But the number and quality of a company’s health and wellness programs can be the true indicator of their commitment to creating a healthy environment for you to thrive.
Manufacturing & operations
Among the many factors that lead to a strong sense of well-being, financial security is one that keeps many people up at night. Uncertainty surrounding finances has the potential to disrupt one’s personal and professional life in profound ways.
At Schneider Electric, the company wants to ensure that team members have the financial assistance they need as the cost of living continues to sky-rocket. Employees have access to:
- Grocery and product discounts from hundreds of retailers
- Cashback on certain big brands
- Entertainment and leisure discounts
This is in conjunction with multiple other well-being and flexibility programs, and even educational programs for all (including leadership) on emotional intelligence and body language so that employees can better empathize with their colleagues and build trust. Schneider Electric also provide numerous training modules for employees and management with a focus on defining all risk factors within the workplace from a psychological perspective, helping to understand and anticipate the human element behind actions and prevent the dangers they may cause.
Local, state & federal government
Cenitex provides an employee assistance program (EAP) through a professional counseling consultancy, and this is available to all staff and their immediate family members. This is a confidential, free, professional service, that’s based on the employee’s needs.
Cenitex also has mental health first aid officers who provide initial informal support to colleagues.
Cenitex also kicked off some Family Well-being webinars for all employees with speakers providing advice and guidance around:
- Avoiding burnout: self-care for working parents and kids
- Nutrition and exercise and sleep
- Managing screen time
- Nurturing family positivity – supporting mental health at home
- Navigating life’s ups and downs
These services have been well received and utilized by Cenitex’s employees with (anonymous) feedback ranging from, “Cenitex is amazing at supporting people working from home” to, “[Cenitex] seems to be very focussed on our mental well-being, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Defence & emergency
Rheinmetall work in a highly demanding project related environment. Employee support services are critical in their ability to maintain a healthy and productive workforce. That’s why safety is so ingrained in their culture.
Their Employee Assistance Program services are completely free to all employees and their immediate family who live with them.
They’ve also got some comprehensive occupational health monitoring keeping their employees safe, with established systems in place for any workers identified to have a health risk exposure. This includes:
- Pre-employment baselines (identifies existing vulnerabilities to enable proactive support programs to be put in place)
- Blood-Lead Levels
- Isocyanates (a hazardous chemical used in manufacturing materials)
Rheinmetall also have a dedicated health and injury support team, supporting work and non-work-related conditions, recovery at work, as well as physical and mental well-being.
They also offer a range of benefits and discounts to their employees to support the rising cost of living and financial well-being. These include:
- Corporate gym members with Good Life and Anytime Fitness
- Corporate deal with SpecSavers
- Regular advice sessions in partnership with Australian Super and RemServ
Construction & engineering
Clough is a company that has embraced a meaningful focus on employee well-being and has developed and implemented a wide range of programs and initiatives to support their employees through life’s challenges.
Their offering spans programs and support including:
- A partnership with Pride in Diversity where they are developing expert LGBTQI+ awareness training and mentoring for all employees,
- An Employee Assistance Program which is a counselling and support service available to all employees and their immediate family members,
- A partnership with MATES in Construction who provide mental health and suicide prevention education and training programs as well as a 24/7 helpline,
- And their recently launched Peer Support Officer Program which aims to promote the support services that are available.
Clough also recently signed a partnership with Orana House to develop a family and domestic violence (FDV) program, providing education and awareness for Clough employees as well as emergency support, paid FDV leave, flexible arrangements, and a range of additional holistic support.
Peter Bennett, CEO and Managing Director for Clough said:
“We are committed to ensuring we are providing our people with the support and tools they need to bring the best version of themselves to work, and to feel supported outside of work as well.”
Mining, resources & energy
Stanwell’s health and well-being strategy was developed to integrate health, safety and wellbeing into Stanwell’s everyday business activities.
The strategy covers three priority risk areas: musculoskeletal health, mental health, and physical well-being. It’s previously received gold recognition from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
The initiatives included within the strategy include:
- Access to 24/7 mental health services
- Training in mental health awareness and suicide prevention
- Access to a reimbursable voluntary wellness check with their General Practitioner (promoting early identification and management of potential health risks)
- Access to financial well-being initiatives
- Regular corporate-wide physical health challenges to encourage physical activity
- Regular recognition of national health days and celebrations promoting physical and mental wellbeing (R U OK? Day, Wear it Purple Day, Men’s & Women’s Health Weeks etc).
- Discounted gym memberships
- Annual skin checks
Stanwell’s hard work to de-stigmatize mental health and encourage their employees to seek support and counselling when required has been reflected in their consistently high utilization rates of their Employee Assistance Program (EAP).