Senior Health Promotion Officer
Department of Health Queensland
What are you/your organisation currently focussing on in terms of workplace health and wellbeing?
Our current focus is on re-engaging the 16 Hospital and Health Services to implement health and wellbeing in the many worksites across Queensland. From a departmental perspective our executive leadership team are focusing on a range of areas from work design to staff engagement.
What aspect of workplace health and wellbeing does your organisation do well in?
We do well in the areas of policy development, awareness raising activities and financial wellbeing and we have recently implemented a mental health framework. We are on the journey to doing more as the momentum around the value of a healthy workforce continues to grow.
What’s your biggest challenge working in workplace health and wellbeing?
Getting others to understand the interdependent nature of workplace risk factors within diverse roles and environments and providing equal access to resources and support.
How does WayAhead Workplaces add value to your organisations health and wellbeing program?
WayAhead Workplaces reminds us that mental health and all other risk factors are not independent of each other and that we need to adopt a holistic approach to employee health and wellbeing. The meetings give us an opportunity to catch up and network as well as providing recent case studies and evidence about what workplaces are doing for their employees.
How do you deal with stress?
I go to the gym at lunchtime as often as I can and do a variety of exercise routines from circuit and core to yoga and stretch. I feel more relaxed afterwards but also more alert and I find I achieve a great deal more after exercise. So best to call me after lunch!!
What are the key issues and considerations for people in workplace health and wellbeing roles?
The challenge is to keep health and wellbeing on the agenda with the leadership team or boss. Their commitment is essential to success. Small business is a particularly difficult group to engage in health and wellbeing and we need to continue work in this area.
How do you switch off from work?
Spending time with my family and my dogs. On weekends it’s about good friends, food and wine (in moderation of course). Strenuous land revegetation is always a backup if we’re not camping and bushwalking. Nordic noir is another favourite escape.
What is your best time saving tip?
Make a list. Do what you can and do it well. What may be your priority may not be everyone else’s so prioritise your work and work down the list in order of importance.
What do you think the future of work health and wellness programs look like?
Complete integration into the health, safety and wellbeing OHS policy and practice space. If we build our work into existing health and safety frameworks it is much harder for workplaces to see it as a “nice to have”. If we do this, management will, with time, also see the benefits of having a healthy workplace through other KPI’s such as improved productivity, reduced absenteeism and workers compensation and improved employee satisfaction and retention. Not to mention healthy, happy employees!