Program Manager, Community Impact
icare (Insurance and Care NSW)
What are you/your organisation currently focusing on in terms of workplace health and wellbeing?
A lot of our recent research has focused on the influence of social connection in the workplace and the positive impact that has on employee engagement, wellbeing, injury prevention, return to work rates and productivity.
I’ve also been testing the application and evaluation of our research findings on customer aggression in retail and fast food in the field.
What aspect of workplace health and wellbeing does your organisation do well in?
As a social insurer icare has a unique position and relationship with over 270,000 businesses and 3 million workers, we concentrate on injury prevention, recovery from injury and quality of life for those catastrophically injured both physically and psychologically.
What’s your biggest challenge working in workplace health and wellbeing?
Achieving buy in from all levels of an organisation particularly leaders, it is a truism that if you have a bad culture at an organisation you will be the last to know about it due to the lack of trust between worker and management, inclusiveness is vital and has to be genuine.
How does WayAhead Workplaces add value to your organisation’s health and wellbeing program?
It is an amazing networking opportunity and a wonderful example of the value of social connection. It is a great showcase for best and next practice in workplace wellbeing and a source for valued feedback and discussion on all things wellbeing.
How do you deal with stress?
I’ve been practising mindfulness for a while now and better understand the signs my body sends me. I breathe deeply and often walk to think things through.
What are the key issues and considerations for people in workplace health and wellbeing roles?
Getting leadership buy in for any health and wellbeing program, understanding the inter connected nature of work, home and everything else in life.
Job design and role clarification are important at an organisational level as is allowing for an open and inclusive discussion at all levels.
How do you switch off from work?
I walk everywhere which helps me reflect in a different way, often on the beach bare foot. I play my guitar on a regular basis which transcends all stressful situations. I also practice yoga when I can.
What is your best time-saving tip?
If you can speak to someone face to face or on the telephone first rather then send them an email I’ve found it saves a lot of time and misunderstanding.
What do you think the future of work health and wellness programs look like?
Allowing more choice for the individual, wellbeing is subjective, and everyone has a different perspective. Organisationally it is better job design, integrated programs and engagement with all employees.