Deb Williams and Ben Harvey
Health and Wellbeing Consultants
Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) - Health Safety & Wellbeing
What are you/your organisation currently focussing on in terms of workplace health and wellbeing?
Health and Wellbeing Directional Plan
- The aim of the plan is to outline a vision for health & wellbeing of workers in NSLHD.
- Present a case for the importance of health & wellbeing and outline a commitment to the health & wellbeing of our workers.
- Provide a clear direction for the health & wellbeing program
NSLHD are near completion of the Mental Health Check Study with Sydney University.
NSLHD are presently piloting the BeUpstanding Program with University of Queensland targeting departments with sedentary workers.
The program aims to prepare staff for physical duties as well as reduce the risk of workplace injuries through improving flexibility, posture and core strength. The program is currently at two sites at Hornsby and Royal North Shore with 17 departments involved and over 100 staff participating.
Ongoing promotion and management of the Fitness Passport program
Ongoing Calendar Events
City 2 Surf, Dry July, September, RU ok day and Mental Health Month
What aspect of workplace health and wellbeing does your organisation do well in?
The establishment of the Wellness at Work Working Parties at each of the hospital sites has allowed for strong engagement with staff who support and implement local initiatives at each site.
Implementation of the following programs:
- The “Get Healthy at Work” Brief online health check was launched in Oct 2015 and finished 17th June 2016. For NSLHD nearly 10% of staff had participated within the first ten days and achieved the overall response rate for NSLHD 25.5% with the highest response rate of 44.5% at one site.
- We participated in the Steptember challenge for the first time in 2016 and recruited 87 teams and raised $23392 and then increased to 135 Teams and $39,150 raised in 2017.
Working collaboratively with other NSLHD teams to implement RU OK day and Mental Health Month.
What’s your biggest challenge working in workplace health and wellbeing?
Engagement of other teams in the Health & Wellbeing program initiatives for our workers.
Communication throughout a large organisation with multiple sites and a diverse workforce.
How does WayAhead Workplaces add value to your organisations health and wellbeing program?
The WayAhead Workplaces membership is so valuable to our organisation. Since joining this forum has enabled us to network with other members in similar roles, have access to fantastic presentations on current Health and Wellbeing programs and research. It has allowed us to build key partnerships with Sydney and Queensland Universities by participating in research with them. Attend workshops that are only for members at no cost.
Having the membership that covers 3 to attend allows us to attend but also invite members from other teams.
How do you deal with stress?
Deb – Mindfulness meditation, listening to music, reading and exercise.
Ben – Exercise, sport, catching up with friends.
How do you switch off from work?
Deb – All of the above and spending time with my family and friends.
Ben – Spending time with the family and friends.
What are the key issues and considerations for people in workplace health and wellbeing roles?
Deb - Most of these roles are one person or Health & Wellbeing is added to an existing full time position. Some key issues for consideration are:
- Establish a Health and Wellbeing committee to provide leadership and direction for the Health and Wellbeing program.
- Establish Wellness working groups and champions to assist with promotion and implementation of initiatives and to identify barriers and issues at each local site.
- Develop a communication strategy with the area communications team.
- Develop a Health & Wellbeing plan and have identified priorities supported by management.
What is your best time saving tip?
Deb - Have effective communication strategies in place to assist with promotion and implementation of Health and Wellbeing initiatives.
Identify priorities, seek management support and implement what is achievable with the resources available then build on the program (trying to say do one thing well not have too many fingers in the pie).
What do you think the future of work health and wellness programs look like?
Health and Wellbeing programs will be modelled on a holistic approach factoring in all aspects that impact on a workers Wellbeing.