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With the demanding nature of work in the health services which can sometimes be distressing, Mercy Health introduced Thrive @ Mercy, an online hub promoting a holistic, proactive approach to health and wellbeing.

Mercy Health, a national health services organisation with 8,500 employees across Australia, care for people with differing needs and at various stages of life; from aged care, mental health services, hospital care, women’s health, early parenting services and palliative care.

 Alicia Thomas, Organisational Development & Diversity Manager

Alicia Thomas, Organisational Development & Diversity Manager

 

Alicia Thomas, Organisational Development and Diversity Manager at Mercy Health said the aged care sector was the fastest growing in Australia and therefore attraction and retention was critical.

“In such a competitive labour market, we are fully aware that candidates are interviewing us at the same time that we are interviewing them,” Ms Thomas said.

Ms Thomas said in the last 12 to 18 months, there has been a spike in queries about employee support from job applicants – it is now one of the most common questions asked in interviews.

This prompted Thrive @ Mercy which provides online resources, tip sheets, free apps, self-assessment tools and referral services.

Thrive @ Mercy has seven key areas of focus: its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers counselling, physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, work/life balance, healthy eating, positive ageing and family violence.

“Thrive @ Mercy supports our people to bring the very best version of themselves to work each day; this translates to being better placed to provide the best possible care to those in need,” Thomas said.

The online hub is regularly updated with relevant information, often driven by a wider understanding of key research and demographics.

For example, Thrive @ Mercy recently prioritised family violence on its hub, considering 85 per cent of the Mercy Health workforce is female and recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows one in six (16%) Australian women have experienced partner violence.

Additionally, the average age of employees at Mercy Health is 45 years. Taking this into consideration, Mercy Health provides content relevant for women with children or those caring for elderly parents, given primary carers are on average around 55 years and two-thirds are female (ABS).

Ms Thomas said given most of their employees are not behind a computer all day, Thrive @ Mercy is accessible through the staff intranet at anytime, anywhere which is especially crucial for employees in rural and regional areas.

After the program was implemented engagement surveys found wellness figures increased by almost 10 per cent from 61 per cent to 70 per cent. Sick leave which was hovering above 5 per cent has also decreased and Thrive @ Mercy has received well over 6,500 clicks from employees so far.

The Thrive @ Mercy was a finalist in the 2017 AHRI Awards for the Martin Seligman Health and Wellbeing Award.


DID YOU KNOW?

Close to three-quarters (74%) of Australian workers believe wellbeing programs are worth the time and money (Workplace Wellbeing).