Walking the talk for workplace wellbeing
Creating a culture of wellbeing at work is high on the agenda for Te Awakairangi Health Network. The Hutt Valley based Primary Health Organisation knows that looking after the wellbeing of their staff benefits not just their organisation but also enables them to be good role models for other workplaces and the clients they see.
Te Awakairangi Health Network Chief Executive Bridget Allan is delighted to have received their Bronze WorkWell accreditation. “We chose to use WorkWell as our wellbeing framework because we really liked that the accreditation was a journey. The multi-level approach that focuses on organisational, environmental and individual action supports us to maintain and embed our positive changes. The engagement approach was also a great fit for our team culture; it mirrors how we work together across our organisation.”
The WorkWell programme is designed for larger employers and each workplace is supported by a trained WorkWell advisor. Following discussions Healthy Families Lower Hutt, Regional Public Health and Te Awakairangi Health Network formed a partnership to bring WorkWell to the Wellington Region with Regional Public Health becoming the lead. Healthy Families Lower Hutt enabled staff from a variety of organisations including Upper Hutt and Hutt City Councils, Sport Wellington, Takiri Mai te Ata, Weltec, RPH and Hutt Valley DHB to be trained on WorkWell. The Regional Public Health WorkWell Advisor Natasha Barlow provided support to Te Awakairangi Health Network on their journey and was delighted to present them with their Bronze accreditation.
Te Awakairangi Health Network’s Health and Safety committee led the WorkWell process for their workplace. Health and Safety Committee chair Tania Robertson, says “We started with a survey for all staff, to find out how our workplace impacts our wellbeing and to get ideas on what we could do to improve our wellbeing. It was important to us to get perspectives from different parts of our organisation. We used the survey to help us decide on the areas we wanted to focus on and then we just got started.”
“One of the more visible changes that has come about from doing WorkWell was getting a new e-bike instead of another pool car. The e-bike is consistently booked out to visit our general practices as well as the individual clients we support through our healthy lifestyle programmes. Our clients have noticed that we ‘walk the talk’ by using active transport.”
Hayley Horne, a regular e-bike user says "I love how everyone that uses the bike comes back to the office with a huge smile on their face."
“An environmental change we’ve made was equipping our kitchen so it is easier for our staff to make healthy and tasty food at work. We’ve even got a shared herb garden to encourage staff to make healthy meals.”
Tania acknowledged that starting out can be a bit overwhelming.
"We have a great committee working on WorkWell and once we broke it down into smaller manageable chunks it felt much easier. We’re lucky that we have been able to use the skills of our staff to support the wider team to make healthy changes. That’s why I’m happy to support any other organisation that is considering doing WorkWell. Having someone who has been through the process to encourage and share ideas would make starting out easier. Over time I’m hoping that we will have a group of local workplaces that have done WorkWell that can all support and encourage each other.”
The next step for Te Awakairangi Health Network is to normalise the changes that they have already made and then start working towards Silver Workwell accreditation. Meanwhile Bridget Allan is taking a leadership approach by presenting to local employer groups on the benefits of workplace wellbeing and encouraging them to use WorkWell to create more health promoting workplaces across the Hutt Valley.