"We want to keep staff happy and healthy"

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Steven Azzopardi, health and wellbeing manager at Toyota Australia, reveals the benefits of implementing a corporate wellness strategy.

As featured in body+soul: November 4 2018

In 2017, Toyota Australia put an end to on-shore manufacturing and, as a result, there was no longer a need for my team to focus on OH&S hazards like slips and falls. This allowed us to focus on emerging hazards, such as mental-health issues and general wellbeing. We chose to complete the Medibank Wellbeing@Work Index Survey to get a better understanding of what our workers really wanted and needed.

The survey revealed that a lot of our employees don’t receive quality sleep each night. So, together with Medibank, we’re working to implement strategies designed to remedy that. We’re going to start educating people on what good sleep is, how to improve sleep and also identify the issues affecting their sleep.

Although we’ve always offered an employee assistance program, with a weekly psychologist visit, our team leaders will soon take part in training to teach them how to identify the early warning signs of mental health issues. The hope is that they will be able to spot when people are struggling at work or home, and offer assistance. We want to create an environment that encourages employees to discuss their issues, so we also have more than 80 certified mental-health first aiders on site.

We also discovered that a lot of our workers care about physical health, so on top of our yearly flu-vaccine program, we’ve introduced walking meetings and companywide fitness initiatives – and workers have really got on board. People have different reasons for why they can’t work out, and we want to address as many of them as possible, so we also offer subsidised gym memberships and are looking to build an on-site gym.

We want our employees to feel trusted and respected at work, and to know that if they raise a problem, action will be taken. Attracting quality workers is always a top priority, but the ultimate goal is to keep them healthy and happy so that they stay.

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