How do you support employee wellbeing goals?

Learn how to make wellbeing goals work.

Written by Melanie Moffatt
Businesswoman having lunch break in office sitting at desk

The beginning of a new year can often be a time for reflection, goal setting, and inspired action.

In the workplace, employees may achieve this by setting performance objectives, implementing targets, or embarking on professional development training.

Outside of work, goal setting may take on a more personal and wellbeing-focused approach. For some employees, this could include improving their fitness, prioritising their mental health, or cooking healthier meals.

Professional and personal goals are often set in isolation but can have interchangeable benefits. Evidence demonstrates that good employee health and wellbeing can positively boost organisational health.  

With this in mind, can the workplace play a cohesive role in supporting employee wellbeing goals?

Wellbeing at work

The pandemic has accelerated hybrid workplaces and the interconnection between work and home.  

The Gartner, 2021 EVP Employee Survey found that 82% of employees wanted organisations to see them as people, not just employees. The trend report predicted that performance planning in 2022 should include wellbeing and professional goals. 

This complements the 2021  Metlife employee benefits trends study.  It found that more than half of employees surveyed are worried about their wellbeing. The report identified wellbeing as a range of mental, financial, social, and physical concerns.

These insights provide an opportunity to take an employee-centric approach to workplace wellbeing. 

Understanding individual wellbeing drivers may help connect employees with wellbeing programs aligned to their goals. It may also help drive active participation in workplace health programs.  

Integrating wellbeing goals into the workplace can be done utilising a combination of peer support, leadership advocacy, and individual action.

Peer power

The 2021 Australian Government Productivity Commission Report on mental health suggested that the workplace could be a vehicle for positive change. It found that social support from colleagues helped increase the quality of interpersonal relationships, reducing psychosocial risk factors. 

Megan Bowen, Wellbeing Lead at Medibank, encourages employees to share their wellbeing goals in a safe and trusting environment. “People are free to communicate as big or small as they are comfortable in doing so. They may prefer not to disclose a personal goal such as weight loss but are happy to share they are striving to be more present at work and home.”

Megan found that sharing her goal of playing the flute and swimming, created deeper interpersonal relationships. It also provided greater accountability and helped motivate others.

Lead the way

Senior leadership endorsement of healthy behaviours can also help normalise wellbeing in the workplace.

Madeleine Young is the Head of Health and Wellbeing, Corporate and Overseas Portfolio at Medibank. She openly shares her wellbeing goals with her team. She has found that being vocal about her health goals has resulted in “helping her team connect on a personal level and build trust.”

Madeleine incorporates the following to support her team to achieve their wellbeing goals:

  • Opening team meetings with an optional “wellbeing share.” Examples could include communicating workload demands or taking up a meditation practice
  • “Walk and talk” meetings to reduce screen time and promote physical activity
  • Sharing her wellbeing goals and actions, which recently included a microbreak to recharge
  • Incorporating wellbeing goal-setting during one on ones to offer individual support 
  • Encouraging employees to attend workplace health and wellbeing programs 

Ready, Set, Goal

How can we support employees to reach their goals? 

Andy Fell, founder of GiFT631 and an international speaker and leadership coach, believes that inactivity is a significant stumbling block to achieving our goals. He advises that “daily actions help individuals move closer to their goals.”

Andy recommends that your employees share their goals with a minimum of 3 people for accountability. Secondly, he suggests that employees commit regular time in their calendar to focus on their goals. Lastly, employees should create a visual reminder of their goals.

Better together

In the same way, we cheer for colleagues when they reach sales targets, finish a project, or get a promotion, the workplace can play a supportive role in celebrating personal wellbeing goals. 

To help support your workplace goals, Medibank offers an extensive range of corporate health and wellbeing programs. These include nutrition consultation, health checks, educational seminars, and mental health programs.

Contact your account manager at corporate.medibank@medibank.com.au to find out how we can help your employees eat, move and feel better this year. 

Written by Melanie Moffatt

Melanie Moffatt is a corporate health and wellbeing specialist, nutritionist and accidental recipe creator. She is passionate about delivering human-centric wellbeing solutions to create happier and healthier workplaces. 


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