Establishing workplace wellbeing plans in New Zealand

Companies are encouraged to gather opinions from their employees and use the information as a basis for the programme.
By: | August 11, 2022

Work design, organisation and management, and employees’ social and environmental context can play a major role in workers’ psychological and physical health, according to Dougal Sutherland, Clinical Psychologist at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.

A Skills Consulting Group survey revealed that over a third of workplaces in New Zealand have no wellbeing plan in place and cautioned that firms that fail to act would face serious repercussions.

In addition to gathering employees’ feedback to develop a wellness programme, including understanding what is causing them stress, Sutherland also urged companies to consider both work and non-work factors that would affect an employee’s wellbeing.

Work factors can include workplace bullying, high workload, and exposure to traumatic material, while non-work factors may include financial stress and parenting or relationship difficulties, he explained in an article written for the World Economic Forum.

He emphasised that a good wellbeing plan promotes positive aspects of a workplace, which are the things that make employees want to be there, such as a great office environment, a culture of appreciation, and “fringe benefits” that come with the job.

READ: New Zealand’s on-the-job training programme reaches 5,000 people

“A comprehensive well-being plan that addresses psychosocial factors will help expand interventions and prove the old adage that prevention is better than cure,” said Sutherland.