Health and Wellbeing Leader
What are you/your organisation currently focusing on in terms of workplace health and wellbeing?
At the beginning of this year we launched the Country Health and Wellbeing Approach which provided direction for how we support health and wellbeing across the organisation over the next three years. The Approach identifies three key movement areas: (1) Supporting a mentally healthy workplace (2) Targeted programs to address risk factors in the workplace and (3) Increase awareness of health and wellbeing for co-workers.
Having presented the approach to various stakeholders in the organisation we are now currently rolling out various initiatives under each key movement area. To give you an example we have just rolled out health and wellbeing champions in all of our units to support and advocate for a healthy workplace environment and we are about to undertake mental health first aid training for all our Unit People and Culture teams across the country.
What aspect of workplace health and wellbeing does your organisation do well in?
IKEA as a global company is rich in history and values. Workplace culture plays a huge part and its vision “A better everyday life for the many people” is reinforced in how we look after our co-workers and customers. This supportive culture is demonstrated throughout our organisation from our leaders, managers and co-workers.
What’s your biggest challenge working in workplace health and wellbeing?
Workplace health and wellbeing is such a huge space and there are endless opportunities which is a great thing, but this can also be a challenge in itself. You can put yourself in the position where you implement a number of initiatives but not doing them well enough to influence positive change.
How does WayAhead Workplaces add value to your organisation’s health and wellbeing program?
I have been a member of WayAhead Workplaces for around 4 years both with my previous employer and more recently with IKEA. I have always valued the networking with like mind professionals and the opportunity to listen to amazing guest speakers at the quarterly meetings.
When I started to explore opportunities in workplace health and wellbeing through the network, I met some professionals who gave up their time to help me pursue my passion for this space. It has been fantastic to have other professionals around you with the same passion, challenges and issues in the workplace setting and WayAhead Workplaces really make you feel part of a bigger family. From the meetings I have been able to approach a number of presenters which in turn have developed into initiatives that I have been able to roll-out within my workplaces.
Being a member of WayAhead Workplaces really is a must for organisations that want to seriously support health and wellbeing of its employees.
How do you deal with stress?
I enjoy being physically active and spending time outdoors as much as possible. I go to the gym regularly and this helps with my mindset and dealing with any stress from work. For me it’s such a great way to relax and helps me to juggle work and family life with a lot more energy.
What are the key issues and considerations for people in workplace health and wellbeing roles?
It’s all about engagement and understanding the workplace environment. In terms of engagement as a health and wellbeing professional this is all about developing relationships with leaders in the business, managers, team leaders and employees. These relationships are critical in gaining support for programs and understanding the challenges and opportunities for program development.
Having a strong vision of what the program looks like and what the key outcomes and measures are is also critical. Having an opportunity to be able to tell a success story from your initiatives also helps engagement and can assist in putting health and wellbeing front and centre in your organisation.
How do you switch off from work?
Spending time with family and friends and sitting down and watching a good movie or show.
What is your best time-saving tip?
Plan your projects and initiatives with plenty of time and always think of your intended audience with scheduling initiatives, projects and programs so that you can get the best possible outcomes and engagement.
What do you think the future of work health and wellness programs look like?
Health and wellbeing programs in the workplace will be the norm and not the exception. Given recent developments with the health pandemic the spotlight will be on the impacts of mental health, fatigue, stress and anxiety.
Organisations will need to adapt and become more personalised in their approach to health and wellbeing and move away from a one size fits all approach to programs and initiatives. It is an exciting and challenging space which will continue to evolve and mature in the years to come.