Workplace Wellness Programs in Australia

Workplace wellness programs in Australia provide many benefits, however the biggest challenge in offering these programs is the lack of participation.  52% of employers surveyed by Limeade admitted it was the biggest challenge, with 49% citing difficulty in maintaining interest and activation with 36% of respondents feeling like it’s a battle to help employees develop long-term healthy habits.

Human Resources Online took it to the experts and spoke to Cotton On Group, Infineon Technologies and Singapore Airlines to find out  what successful workplace wellness programmes included. They found it came down to contextualisation, control and comprehensiveness.


According to American Express, it is critical that each company has its own customised wellness philosophy and design, because there is no one design that will work for everyone. Successful wellness programmes are aligned with individual company cultures and employee needs.

Case Study: Cotton On listens to staffs needs

At Cotton On, the health and wellbeing department sits within its people and performance function, and is focused on ensuring the team are happy, engaged, motivated and healthy.

Some of these are designed for individuals such as personal training sessions at in-house gyms or health and well being coaching across its hubs. Other programmes are rolled out for its employees worldwide, including digital health education or well being events.

Meditation, Yoga, massages, Zumba classes, team hikes, Mindfulness education, fruit drops to stores and the distribution centre and the Run World fun run for charity have all been very popular programmes.

While the programmes are all optional, Cotton On found a vast majority of its staff globally are focused on health and wellbeing – across body, mind and spirit. When the organisation first began to design the programmes, employees were very much involved.

Depending on the programme delivered, the firm receives up to a 65% participation rate from its employees. According to the group, team-based games, challenges or sessions seem to be particularly successful as they provide an opportunity for people to engage with others in a positive and energetic way.


Control provided to employees

With Singapore’s medical inflation rate reported to be at 15% last year, healthcare costs are on the rise and a worrying factor for many. Other than the high costs of insurance and staying healthy, many professionals require different types of healthcare because of lifestyle choices, habits and behaviours.

While Medisave can primarily be used for hospitalisation bills, screenings and procedures, some may require more assistance than others – and this is why it’s important for employees to be given the control to choose.

Comprehensive offerings are key

With only one-tenth of your workforce equating success at work with high performance and productivity, this reveals a disconnect between the expectations of employees and their employers.

Similarly, each employee comes with different interests, lifestyles, health and wellness needs – and for a corporate wellness programmes to work, it needs to appeal to the majority of the workforce. 

CASE STUDY: Singapore Airlines ensures programmes appeal to all staff 

Singapore Airlines puts great emphasis on staff wellness and has always encouraged its staff to participate in sporting and recreational activities, and wellness programmes to keep the mind and body fit.

Launched in early 2012, the SIA wellness and health programme (WHP) aims to promote healthy lifestyles and employee wellbeing. The programs offered range from: relevant talks, sports activities to a helpline service.

Covering a wide range of popular interests, crew members are able to choose from a comprehensive list of activities, including music society or the cabin crew performing arts circle.

Staff that enjoy spending time outdoors can join various activities such as the cabin crew tennis circle or basketball club or Golf Circle to maintain their active lifestyles.

Find out more about workplace wellness programs, contact us. 

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