Wellbeing program inspires staff

Article image - Wellbeing program inspires staff Alex McKinnon inspires staff from Lake Macquarie City Council

Not many local government employees can say they have met inspirational, former Rugby League professional, Alex McKinnon, or enjoyed a spot of rock’n’roll line dancing during their workday.

Lake Macquarie City Council, New South Wales (NSW), is treating staff to this and much more as part of its Wellbeing Framework, introduced just over a year ago.

Council’s Acting Organisational Performance Manager, Alexis Hill, said, “The framework takes a holistic approach to health, bringing initiatives to improve wellbeing across eight areas including physical, emotional, intellectual, environmental, financial, social, occupational, and spiritual.”

A Corporate Fitness Program is offered which includes discounted gym and pool membership and access to in-house: yoga, meditation, stretch, and Pilates classes.

“It also includes our Employee Assistance Program, weight management and quit smoking programs, annual flu vaccinations and skin checks.”

Each month a wellbeing event is held ranging from inspirational and educational talks given by experts and high-profile community members to yoga, dance or movement classes.

“In November, employees can attend a talk with a NSW Police Constable on preparing for safe holiday travels, both on the road and for your home.”

Monthly initiatives include the Lake Mac 10K steps team challenge, Dry July, Daffodil Day and Movember.

Ms Hill said the idea to develop the framework came about after a joint initiative between the Organisational Performance and Safety Teams delivered a series of in-house presentations on mental health as part of Safe Work Month.

“Over the course of a week, staff heard presentations from broadcaster and author Craig Hamilton, psychologist Tarnya Davis, and NSW Mental Health Deputy Commissioner Fay Jackson, and learned techniques to help manage stress, build emotional resilience and assist someone during a mental health crisis,” Ms Hill said.

“The sessions struck a chord among staff, with about a quarter of all employees attending a presentation.

“As a result of this success, we’ve decided to do more to help support our employees be the best possible version of themselves, when it comes to health and wellbeing.”