Before businesses start on a new workplace wellbeing program, they should consider five facts to make sure they are helping, not hindering employees. 

Research from the Workplace Wellbeing report, based on a survey of 1,000 Australian workers, shows that programs have to more meaningful than just “work-perks” to improve wellbeing.

Lead researcher of global HR think-tank Reventure, Dr Lindsay McMillan said in order to make wellbeing programs more meaningful, there are five key facts to know:

FACT 1 – Half (51%) of Australian workers believe unrealistic workload expectations have the greatest negative impact on wellbeing in the workplace.

“Unrealistic workload expectations had the greatest negative impact on wellbeing according to Australian workers,” said Dr McMillan.

“If workers are drowning in more deadlines than there are hours in the day, taking any time to talk about workplace wellbeing is going to sound incredibly tone-deaf.”

FACT 2 – The majority (75%) of Australian workers believe wellbeing includes both physical and mental wellbeing.

“Encourage both physical and mental health side by side,” Dr McMillan said.

FACT 3 – More than a third (38%) of Australian workers believe low team morale has the most negative impact on the workplace.

“Boost morale with team-oriented events – don’t neglect socialising from your overall workplace wellbeing plan,” said Dr McMillan.

“However small, find a balance that works for your team – it might be a sports team or it might be an office lunch to get the team together and celebrate your successes.”

FACT 4 – Half (51%) of Australians say family is one of the biggest stressors in their life

“For those with caring responsibilities, making it easier for them to prioritise family commitments will go some way to alleviate stress,” he said.

“Consider whether your workplace needs an Employee Assistance Program that is available to family members too,” Dr McMillan said.

FACT 5 – About three-quarters (74%) of workers believe wellbeing programs are worth the time and money.

“The majority of workers said wellbeing programs are worth both the time and money, so have confidence in the knowledge that this investment is worth it for employees,” Dr McMillan said.