The evidence is overwhelming that engaged employees drive competitive advantage. And that the establishment and continuous improvement of a health and wellness policy is integral to business success.
A healthy work environment
Promoting a healthy work environment means all employees are responsible and accountable for their own health, safety and wellbeing. The company will take responsibility for health and safety procedures, however, employees need to be aware of their responsibilities and comply with the business’s health and wellness policy.
Suggestions for company commitments
When developing a health and wellness policy with your employees, consider what your company may be able to offer. You could consider:
- Flexible working arrangements. Legislation allows employees who have caring responsibilities to have the statutory ‘right to request’ flexible working arrangements.
- Budget advice. The Citizens Advice Bureau gives free seminars on budget advice.
- Employee walking groups during lunch breaks. Walking groups could be extended to having teams compete against each other as to who can walk the furthest during a specific time period.
- Funding events, teams and group activities. A walking group competition could be extended to events such as ‘Round the Bays’ or you could help employees put together social sports teams.
- Allowing mothers to express breast milk at work. The 2008 Infant Feeding Amendment to the Employment Relations Act 2000 requires employers to provide unpaid breaks and/or facilities for employees who wish to breastfeed their infants or express milk during working hours.
- Massage, yoga, pilates or gym membership for employees. These activities don’t need to be funded by the employer, it may be a case of arranging them to occur in-house and at a reduced price.
- An employee assistance programme. An employee assistance programme is a service that provides staff with a free, confidential source of advice on issues of concern to them.
- Allowing employees to cash up leave. Legislation allows employees to be able to ask their employer to pay out, in cash, up to one week of their minimum entitlement to annual holidays per year.
In New Zealand, you have a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment for your employees. And with a few extra steps, you can secure the well-being of your entire organization. Let HRtoolkit show you how.