HBF has named WA’s top ten healthiest workplaces in WA in 2015, measuring for the first time the mental as well as physical health of employees in some of Perth’s major organisations.
Superannuation provider WA Super, has emerged as WA’s healthiest workplace, topping the 2015 HBF Corporate Wellness Leaderboard ahead of the State Treasury Corporation and the Insurance Commission of WA. Crown Perth, Steel Blue, Edith Cowan University, HBF and Perth Airport were amongst the other workforces ranked in this year’s top ten.
WA Super CEO, John McNally said the focus on employees’ health reflected the organisation’s core value; putting people first, which applied as much to the organisation’s employees as to their customers.
“It’s not only about productivity but about our people,” Mr McNally said.
“We have regular communication with our employees about their personal wellness. We were able to categorise employee feedback into those of ‘planners’ who have the good intention of making healthy changes in their lives but needed assistance turning their intentions into actions, and ‘doers’ who were already taking the steps to live healthier, happier lives.”
“We aim for our ‘planners’ to become ‘doers’ and to take our ‘doers’ to another level in their health journey. We encourage individual feedback on their health goals and provide initiatives to work as a team to achieve them.” Mr McNally said.
This is the third year of the HBF Corporate Wellness Index but the first year the index has tracked the mental as well as physical health of employees.
HBF’s Executive General Manager for Health & Wellness, Jennifer Solitario said the index provided Australia’s first comprehensive measure of the holistic wellness of an organisation’s workforce.
Ms Solitario said the HBF Corporate Wellness Index was designed to give organisations accurate information about the health of their employees.
“It enables organisations to answer some critical questions:
- How healthy is my workforce?
- How does the health of my workforce compare to other organisations?
- What are the main health issues we need to address?
- What difference have our corporate wellness initiatives made?”
HBF carried out Wellness Assessments on 59 WA organisations but Ms Solitario said only companies where a representative sample of employees had been assessed were shortlisted.
“We wanted to ensure our findings weren’t skewed in favour of organisations where only the fittest employees had taken part,” she said.
Ms Solitario said that combining mental and physical health measures had raised interesting issues with some organisations sensitive about the scores for the mental health of their employees.
“We found that even amongst some organisations that scored well for mental health measures there was a reticence about discussing their results.
“There were no such qualms about physical health measures and it suggests there is still a sensitivity about discussing mental health issues, even at a whole of workforce level.”
How the HBF Corporate Wellness Index is compiled
HBF’s Corporate Wellness Index is comprised of two key components:
- An internationally validated measure of health covering vitality, physical functioning, bodily pain, general health perceptions, emotional functioning, social functioning and mental health.
- Biometric data collected from participants by HBF’s qualified Health Services consultants as part of the HBF Wellness Assessment. This includes blood pressure, cholesterol, waist circumference and BMI. These biomedical risk factors are strongly linked to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, poor nutrition, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity.
The combination of sources enables HBF to score organisations on their mental wellness and physical wellness. The data is normalised using statistical analyses and combined to create an overall wellness score, with mental and physical wellness given equal weighting.
Only companies who had a representative number of employees participating in the health assessments were considered for the HBF Corporate Wellness Index.