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Changing the Face of Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace

Published: Tue 24 Sep 2019 05:38 PM
The cost of not having employees operating with optimum health to business performance is well documented and understood and yet every year when Mental Health Awareness week rolls around, organisations across New Zealand are reminded that they should be doing more to support wellbeing in their workplace. Scary statistics in the media highlight that it’s not just mental health that takes the toll as a result of our modern stressful lives, there are the other pillars of wellbeing that are equally impacted, including rising rates of obesity and associated diseases.
Practically every organisation knows the benefits of improving wellbeing in the workplace, however they struggle to execute a programme amongst their workforce in a co-ordinated way that brings it to life and inspires people to take action.
So, why are organisations not doing more to tell their employees that they value their wellbeing on a daily rather than sporadic basis? Simply put, there’s been a massive shift in the way society consumes information and organisations have not adapted their approach to meet modern communication needs. Tired old methods of communicating company-wide information, such as sticking something on a noticeboard, no longer ‘cut-through’ now that our brains are wired for the visual stimulation that moving images provide. With the growing number of digital native Millennials in the workplace, finding a more effective and relevant way of connecting with them is a very real and pressing concern for organisations wanting to stay ahead of the curve.
Talking to the Internal Communications Manager of Zespri, Oliver Broad, it’s clear that executing effective communication about wellbeing (or any other topic for that matter) is far from simple. “It’s easy for a busy communications team to blast messages out via as many channels as you have, hoping one of them sticks,” explains Oliver. “The trouble is that people are often overwhelmed by content. They are often time-poor and have little mental bandwidth to read lengthy emails or articles and engage in what we want to communicate.”
Oliver continues, “We knew that we needed to do something different with our employee communications because information was not getting through to people. The situation has been exacerbated with the rise of social media and consuming information via mobile. Put bluntly, if it’s not moving it doesn’t get noticed and if it’s any longer than a tweet it doesn’t get read!”
Luckily there is now a wellbeing programme available to organisations who want to get serious about their employees’ welfare. The Vibe Wellbeing programme launches on 23 September to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. Vibe Wellbeing will ensure that ‘wellbeing’ is not just on the calendar for one week every year, but all 52 weeks with its ability to keep health and wellness on the radar of employees daily – an essential part of establishing new habits.
The new programme is a ‘New Zealand first’ for how Wellbeing content is delivered in the workplace. The Vibe platform already powers the employee communications of some of New Zealand’s largest businesses and Vaughan Reed, Managing Director of Labyrinth, the tech company behind Vibe is proud to partner with Wick Nixon, the founder of Wicked Wellbeing, to deliver this powerful programme of content using Vibe’s innovative technology. Vaughan describes Vibe Wellbeing as a ‘ready to go’ premium programme of health-related content available on subscription. “It’s high impact, visually engaging content, delivered in a snackable format in near real-time,” says Vaughan. “It is sure to captivate and inspire workforces with the goal of positively influencing the physical and mental choices employees make every day.”
“The Wellbeing programme was developed in response to an overwhelming demand from our customers to be able to deliver on their commitment to wellbeing in their organisations and connect, engage and inspire employees on this important topic. Vibe Wellbeing overcomes the common hurdle of how to easily create meaningful, expert content on topics such as exercise, nutrition, mindfulness and can be delivered in a very practical way that employees will pay attention to and importantly, motivates them to take action.”
Wick, who has curated the content for Vibe Wellbeing, explains that the programme is designed to empower employees to take small and realistic steps to improve their wellbeing on all fronts. “Vibe Wellbeing is a well-rounded calendar of content in recognition that all our pillars of wellbeing; physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual, need to come together to create a solid foundation that an employee can thrive from,” comments Wick, adding “one of the biggest barriers for someone wanting to improve their wellbeing is keeping it constantly top of mind and Vibe provides the ideal platform for this, as well as being delivered in a way that is very simple and very actionable.”

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