Australia’s best workplaces are safe, healthy and enriching_04062019.jpg

Modern Australian workplaces are both safe and healthy. They prioritise healthy eating, sleeping and psychological wellbeing. They not only promote work-life balance, but also focus on work-life harmony.

In a future that works’ most recent research, Best in Class, I met with people leaders from some of Australia’s leading organisations. We discussed their take on the direction and future of HR in Australia and globally. They all spoke about how their organisations know they need to continuously look for new ways to create safe and enriching places for their people to work. And they are walking the talk.

It is well understood that business outcomes are driven by employee wellbeing. But unfortunately, not all organisations are responding to this. Positively, the people leaders at Australia’s leading organisations are driving the focus on health and wellbeing.

Sleep is just one element of employee health and wellbeing, but it is a critical one. Our research, Workplace Wellbeing (2017), found that satisfied sleepers are more satisfied in all areas of their lives than dissatisfied sleepers.

One of Australia’s best in class organisations, PwC, know they need to maintain a tension point between technology and human interaction. Their Executive Team are role modelling the benefits of sleep and rest and the organisation is investing into raising awareness across the business about the dangers of sleep deprivation. Dorothy Hisgrove, in her capacity as PwC Partner and Chief People Officer, interprets metrics for attrition caused by burnout and over-utilisation.

I was also very pleased to discover that Arts Centre Melbourne takes wellness very seriously. Leanne Lawrence, Executive Director Human Resources, told me that the organisation led a wellbeing initiative in Australia. The pilot program, Arts Wellbeing Collective, promotes better mental health and wellbeing for performing arts workers across a consortium of more than 130 Victorian arts and cultural organisations. It has also developed a new program which considers what is a workplace and the requirements of a “well” workplace.

Modern workplaces are also proactively finding ways to create safe and enriching places to work. This comes in many forms for the people leaders at Australia’s best in class organisations, as they delve to a deeper, more human level when it comes to providing safe and secure working environments for their people.

Jetts Fitness has used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to develop a strategy for its people and its members. Elaine Jobson, CEO, told me that the organisation believes safety and security is fundamental and that it is not only physical but also psychological. They ensure that what they do for their members, they do first for their people. Elaine told me there is a need for safety and security in a workplace and “understanding what creates human happiness and taking care of that in the work environment. We need to find meaningful happiness, not just fun”.

I discovered that workplace health is not only about healthy eating and sleeping. It goes deeper than this. It is also about psychological wellbeing which people can only achieve through work-life harmony.  My interviews with the people leaders from Best in Class organisations affirms that leading workplaces of the future are on the front foot of ensuring their people work in safe and enriching workplaces.

How do you create an enriching, safe and secure workplace for your people?

Read the full Best in Class report for more examples of what leading organisations in Australia are doing to prioritise employee holistic wellbeing.