Electrical switchgear engineers NOJA Power today announces the release of a six-and-a-half minute video on the homepage of the Queensland Government’s Workplaces for Wellness website (https://workplacesforwellness.qld.gov.au) showcasing the company as a leading advocate of employee health & wellbeing.
Launched earlier this year, the website provides guidance and practical resources to support Queensland workplaces in the implementation of best practice wellness programs. The initiative is backed by a national “Healthy Worker” investment of $294 million from 2011 to 2018 specifically targeting workplaces.
The newly-released video details NOJA Power’s health & wellbeing program. The company was chosen for the video because it was among the first in the state to create, implement and maintain a comprehensive scheme now in its second year. The video features a tour of the company with an emphasis on the initiatives aiding employee health and wellbeing. Senior management, supervisors and employees explain how they have benefited from the program.
NOJA Power’s initiative includes bike racks, showers and lockers to encourage employees to cycle to work, two pieces of fresh fruit daily for each member of staff, educational seminars on food and exercise choices and participation in social sporting events such as “Bridge to Brisbane” (a public 5 km or 10 km run in which over 100 NOJA Power employees took part in 2013).
In addition, a qualified exercise physiologist conducts an examination for new employees incorporating measurements of blood-pressure, -glucose and -cholesterol, waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index. After the check the employee has an indication of areas for improvement and the motivation and confidence needed to make associated lifestyle changes.
According to the Queensland Government’s Department of Health, 91 per cent of the 24,000 deaths in Queensland in 2010 were due to chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and mental disorders. The Workplaces for Wellness initiative encourages businesses to establish educational programs and healthy practices for employees to help them address factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption that have been shown to increase the risk of developing chronic diseases.
The government notes businesses that implement similar programs benefit because employees are less likely to be absent from work, suffer fewer work-related injuries, are more productive and stay with the company for longer. Poor employee health management leads to absenteeism costing Australian businesses $7 billion per annum and ‘presenteeism’ (whereby an employee attends work but underperforms due to a medical condition) costs nearly $34 billion.
“It was over two years ago that I was thinking how we could make NOJA Power an even better place to work and came up with the idea of a health & wellbeing program,” says Neil O’Sullivan, NOJA Power’s Managing Director. “Like most things in business, the decision to start the program was made with an eye on the return on investment we were likely to get. It was absolutely worth it. We’ve seen a decrease in sick leave and an increase in productivity. We've also seen an increase in loyalty, reducing our staff turnover.
“We are proud to be featured in the Workplaces for Wellness video as an example of a company that has implemented a first class program. I hope the video encourages other companies to invest in a similar scheme. They will find it a big benefit.”