Health At Work: Why Healthy Employees Are Happier

Great Place To Work

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Great Place To Work

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The relationship between work and health has evolved significantly over time.

In the current predominantly knowledge-based, technology-assisted economy, more employees find themselves in sedentary jobs, doing less physical work. As a result, this inactivity can create or hide a host of potential health problems.

Meanwhile, the globalisation of labour has also changed the way people work and the conditions in which they do so. The high demand for productivity along with increasing competition often results to higher levels of stress and burnout.

The 2021 National Return to Work Survey Report indicated that among the injury or illness causing Australian employees to miss work are musculoskeletal disorders, fractures, traumas, mental illness, and diseases.

Now, more than ever, companies and leaders must be more aware about their employee’s wellbeing and prioritise their health conditions. Indeed, South Australian workplaces are intensifying their efforts to prioritise the health and wellbeing of their employees. Many of them are implementing various strategies and initiatives aimed at safeguarding and enhancing the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of their workers.

What is health at work?

The World Health Organisation defines a healthy workplace as “one where employers and employees collaborate to continually protect and promote people’s health, safety, and wellbeing and workplace sustainability.”

A healthy workplace considers the health and safety of employees in the physical work environment as well as in the psychosocial work environment, including the organisation of work and workplace culture. It also looks at the employee’s personal health in the workplace and how it can be supported by the company.

Moreover, Australia’s National Preventive Health Strategy explains that there are several social determinants of health. This includes working conditions and employment. It outlines that secure, full-time work arrangement and strong social connections in the workplace positively affects a person’s health, while exposure to harmful substances and injury risks, underemployment, long work hours, and psychologically harmful conditions such as stress, bullying, and harassment can cause adverse effects.

The Link Between Health and Employee Happiness

Employees’ wellbeing has a profound impact on their overall job satisfaction and productivity.

Here’s how prioritising physical, mental, and psychological health in the workplace translates to employee happiness:

1. They feel cared for and valued

Employees appreciate a workplace that prioritise their overall wellbeing. They are more likely to be satisfied with their job when they feel valued and cared for by their employer.

2. They become more loyal

When individuals recognise their employer’s commitment to their wellbeing, they’re more inclined to stay with the company for a long time.

3. They are more engaged

When physical health is prioritised, individuals have the energy and focus to tackle tasks efficiently. They’re also less likely to experience absenteeism due to health-related issues.

4. They contribute to a positive workplace culture

Healthy employees feel supported, motivated, and happy. This creates a work environment where people are capable and inspired to show the same care for their colleagues.

Healthy, Happy Employees Grow the Business

Leaders and organisations who invest in making sure that their employees are healthy and safe in all aspects of their well-being are set up for success.

They are likely to experience these benefits as a result of their efforts:

1. Increased Productivity and Engagement

Healthy and happy employees are more likely to be productive and engaged at work. They appreciate a workplace that cares about their health and, as a result, are more committed to their roles.

Physically healthy employees are also more engaged, leading to improved performance and innovation. Engaged employees are also more likely to go the extra mile for the company.

2. Improved Mental Health

Physical health and mental health are closely interconnected. Encouraging healthy habits at work can significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels among employees. This, in turn, promotes a positive work environment and reduces the risk of burnout.

3. Enhanced Job Satisfaction

Employees who feel their well-being is valued by their employer are more likely to be satisfied with their job. They appreciate a workplace that cares about their health and, as a result, are more committed to their roles. This creates a culture that attracts top talent and enhances the company’s reputation.

How to Create Healthy Habits and Practices in the Workplace?

Whether your workforce is remote or in-person, promoting physical health should be a top priority. Here are some strategies to achieve this:

1. Ergonomic Workspaces

In the office or at home, ergonomic workspaces are essential. Provide employees with ergonomic chairs, adjustable desks, and proper lighting. Encourage regular breaks to stretch and avoid prolonged periods of sitting.

2. Encourage Physical Activity

Incorporate physical activity into the workday. This can be as simple as organizing walking meetings, offering gym memberships, or encouraging employees to take short breaks for stretching and movement.

3. Healthy Eating Options

Offer healthy food choices in the workplace, whether through a cafeteria or vending machines. Encourage employees to bring nutritious meals from home and avoid excessive consumption of sugary snacks.

4. Mental Health Support

Promote mental health initiatives, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and stress management workshops. Make sure employees are aware of these resources and feel comfortable using them.

Additionally, Harvard Business Review together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looked at the specific work conditions that affect employee wellbeing. They several approaches to improve work practices that can benefit the employees and the company. Here are some of them:

  • Employers should give workers more control on how they do their work. Research shows that having little to no say over how work gets done can lead to a poorer mental health.
  • Employers should allow flexible working arrangements. Similarly, when people have control over their work schedules, their mental wellbeing improves.
  • Employers must strive to provide consistent working schedules. Erratic and unpredictable schedules make it hard for employees to manage their personal lives and health.
  • Employers must ensure adequate staffing and reasonable workloads. High work demands such as long hours or pressure to work fast can affect an individual’s health and wellbeing, leading to several health risks and diseases.

 

Promoting health at work means ensuring the overall wellbeing of the employees. This relates to the physical, mental, psychological, and social health and condition of each person. By implementing healthy work habits and practices, employers can reap the benefits of having a happy, productive, and loyal staff—ultimately leading to the success and growth of their businesses. Prioritising the health of employees is an investment with long-lasting, positive effects on both individuals and the organization as a whole.

Great Place To Work

Great Place To Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Our mission is to help every place become a great place to work for all. We give leaders and organizations the recognition and tools to create a consistently and overwhelmingly positive employee experience, fostering cultures that are proven to drive business, improve lives, and better society. Our recognition is the most coveted and respected in the world for elevating employer brands to attract the right people. Our proprietary methodology and platform enables organizations to truly capture, analyze, and understand the experience of all employees. Our groundbreaking research empowers organizations to build cultures that retain talent and unlock the potential of every employee. Our coaches, content, and community connect the boldest leaders, ideas, and innovations in employee experience. Since 1992, our Certification™, Best Workplaces™ Lists, and global benchmarks have become the industry standard, built on data from more than 100 million employees in 150 countries around the world.

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Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work determines the list using our proprietary For All methodology. To determine the Best Workplaces in Technology list, Great Place To Work analyses the survey responses of tens of thousands of employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the technology industry.

Our survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organizational data like size, location, industry, demographics, roles, and levels. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience.

Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. Survey data analysis and company-provided datapoints are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience for all employees in this industry.

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™ and nominate as a company in the technology industry.

We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, news, and financial performance, and investigate any employee reports of company incompliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Categories

These organisations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Micro 10-29 Employees
  • Small 30-99 Employees
  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work determines the list using our proprietary For All methodology. To determine the Best Workplaces in Technology list, Great Place To Work analyses the survey responses of tens of thousands of employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the technology industry.

Our survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organizational data like size, location, industry, demographics, roles, and levels. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience.

Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. Survey data analysis and company-provided datapoints are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience for all employees in this industry.

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™ and nominate as a company in the technology industry.

We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, news, and financial performance, and investigate any employee reports of company incompliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces for Women™ List Methodology

The Best Workplaces for Women™list is determined using Great Place To Work’sFor All™methodology to evaluate hundreds of Certified™Great Place To Work®organisations across Australia.   

Data is based on over 40,000 employee survey responses from women in Great Place To Work® Certified™ organisations across Australia. 

The survey 

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organisation’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. 

Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organisational data like size, location, industry, and the number of women in the workforce and management positions. 

Considerations 

Great Place To Work analysed the gender balance of each workplace, how it compares to each company’s industry, and patterns in representation as women rise from front-line positions to executive/C-suite roles. 
Survey data analysis and women’s representation figures are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience and opportunities for all women, regardless of their role or demographic background.   

Eligibility   

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™. Companies must also employ at least 50 women. We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, and investigate any employee reports of company in compliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Please note this list is NOT ranked. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Best Workplaces™ Australia 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of almost 50,000 employees across Australia.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organisation creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organisation, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyse these experiences relative to each organisation’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organisation to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

 

Categories

These organisations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

For larger organisations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organisations to share with us their practices, policies and programs to creating a great workplace For All™ and evaluating the approach they take.

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:

1.  The criteria we evaluate

2.  Where the data comes from