Wellbeing program boosts staff morale in aged care
Recognising the emotional, physical and mental stresses that can be placed on team members working in the health industry, New South Wales aged care provider, Peninsula Villages has recently implemented a new team wellbeing program.
The initiative was brought about through a grant funded by the state Government’s new Get Healthy at Work program, which is designed to improve employee health.
Peninsula Villages, which employs more than 300 locals, has used its grant to implement a multifaceted approach to team wellbeing, focusing on group personal training sessions, a Fitbit challenge, free breast screens, a quit smoking hypnotherapy program and providing fresh fruit to all staff.
“With the support of our Risk and Compliance Manager, Kate Jakins, we recognised the need to make a modern change in our staff approach and we began a journey towards creating a culture that promotes wellbeing in the workplace, including the launch of our wellbeing program that we have now run for 6 weeks,” explained Peninsula Villages Chief Executive Officer Shane Neaves.
“In total, 51 people have joined the group personal training sessions, with the response from staff being overwhelmingly positive. The trainers of the sessions have been praised for their ability to be supportive and non-judgemental, while encouraging attendees to push themselves."
Another initiative of the Peninsula Villages wellbeing program is the pedometer and Fitbit challenge with staff teams competing to walk the most steps during the challenge period.
“The staff that have participated in our steps challenge are quite competitive and it has certainly boosted the morale around the Village,” Mr Neaves said.
“Participants have noted that they are now more aware of their daily movements and that the challenge has encouraged them to be more active every day.
“Many have also felt that the challenge not only helped them physically, but it has had positive effects on their mental state of mind."
With over 20% of the staff participating in one or more elements of the wellbeing program, Peninsula Villages is looking at ways to ensure they can continue the program and other similar initiatives that will be beneficial to the overall health of its team and residents.
“We need to care for the people caring for our oldest Australians. The nature of their role can place great pressures on their mental wellbeing. Workloads are high and demanding, changing rosters and shift work are disruptive to their life, and they’re confronted on a regular basis with many of the hardships that ageing can bring.
“The traditional approach is to look at ways to support an individual worker once they become unwell. But clearly, the smarter way to work is to prevent these problems occurring in the first place by creating a working environment that supports health and mental wellbeing”, Mr Neaves concluded.
10 July 2019.