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8 ways to create a healthy workplace | Linking company values to talent attraction and culture


Being a successful business owner, manager or employee requires us to have focus, commitment, dedication and time! We all want to be the best version of ourselves at work, but this is not realistic if we aren’t looking after ourselves physically and mentally.

Why is health and wellbeing in the workplace important?

With World Health Day on 7th April, it was a good reminder that, at some stage we have all been guilty of making poor choices about our health, these not only impact us on a personal level but also at work. Neglecting our health increases the risk of becoming unmotivated, burnt out and more vulnerable to illness which can result in a negative impact on both our personal and work lives.

What are the benefits of having a healthy workplace?

The workplace is a perfect place for embedding health and wellbeing practices for your employees. Did you know that the healthiest Australian employees are almost three times more productive and effective than less healthy employees in the workplace? [1] If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some additional benefits:

  • Improved employee engagement and morale

  • Improved levels of employees energy and concentration

  • Improved behaviours around health of employees

  • Improved corporate image/social responsibility

  • Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders

  • Reduced absenteeism - The annual cost of absenteeism to the Australian economy is averaged at around $44 billion a year! [2]

  • Reduction of stress and poor mental health - Mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces $10.9 billion each year! [3]

How can businesses promote a healthy lifestyle at work?

Health and wellbeing initiatives don’t have to be expensive, small investments and commitment can lead to big impacts. Here are a few ways you can implement a healthier and happier workplace:

1. Work life balance – Whilst there are times where we have to work extra hours to meet a deadline or prepare for that big meeting, this should not be the norm. Having a poor work life balance can lead to increased stress levels, burnout, physical health issues and absenteeism, so it is important to educate and promote a good balance with your team

2. Provide an Employee Assistance Program – An EAP provides a confidential counselling service to help employees combat a range of personal or work-related problems that may be affecting them

3. Encourage healthy behaviours – Whilst you can not tell employees what to do when it comes to their personal choices, you can have influence over the work environment. You could promote a smoke free workplace, provide nutritious snacks or free lunches once a month, host fitness or exercise challenges between teams, or have regular team days that are active and outdoors

4. Breaks - It has become a common practice for employees to skip their breaks and eat lunch at their desks…or sometimes not at all. Ask your teams to take their lunch and other breaks throughout the day as needed and even encourage them to get out of the office and go for a walk, so they come back feeling refreshed and productive

5. Time off – Consider offering your employees additional annual leave or mental health days outside of their normal entitlements. If that doesn’t work for your business, why not schedule a few hours in your employees calendar each month, where they can take time to do something nice for themselves on business time. Many companies who offer similar benefits say they have experienced increased productivity and engagement

6. Employee benefits – Partner with other services and offer your team incentives such as discounted gym memberships, health workshops, access to private healthcare, wellness apps, discounts or vouchers to healthy products. As an example, you could give your employee a Hello Fresh voucher!

7. Flu Shots - With COVID-19 ever present and flu season upon us, many businesses choose to organise a provider to administer flu shots at work, or offer a reimbursement for employees who choose to go to a chemist or doctor. This helps lower absenteeism and can increase employee productivity and morale

8. Safe work environment - Not only should you promote a positive workplace culture but also a safe one. Ensure that the work environment is physically safe for employees and they have the proper equipment to do their job safely (e.g.- PPE / ergonomic furniture). You should also make sure that you have the proper policies in place such as Workplace Health and Safety, Bullying and Harassment, Smoking, Drug and Alcohol and Leave policies

Every person’s health is important, and everyone has their own capacity to deal with physical and mental concerns. By implementing steps for a healthier workplace, you are not only helping your employees but also working on improving your business in the long run.


[1] Medibank Private. Sick at work report. Medibank Private; 2011.

[2] Australian Industry Group. Absenteeism & presenteeism survey report 2015. Sydney (AUST): AiG; 2015.

[3] PriceWaterhouseCoopers Australia. Creating a mentally healthy workplace: return on investment analysis [Internet]. Sydney (AUST): PwC; 2014



In a world where businesses are facing ongoing recruitment and retention challenges, job seekers are turning to a company’s values and what they stand for to decide if the role and the business is a good match for them. When recruiting, the tables have turned, and candidates are interviewing a business and their potential fit just as much as hiring managers.

A lot of us search for the “perfect fit” or in other words a business where we enjoy the work, one that meets our financial needs and increasingly importantly now…one that has values that align to our own. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Indeed 21% of job seekers accepted an offer based on the fact that their values aligned to what they company stands for. In another survey conducted by Glassdoor, of those surveyed, 79% would consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying for a role. This shows that employers need to put more emphasis on having a core set of values and promoting and demonstrating them across the entire business.

What are workplace values?

Many businesses today have a set of values, even if it’s just a list of beliefs and standards that are important to them. You might think of values such as teamwork, integrity, respect, connection – they all sound great, but what do they actually mean? Core values should not just be buzzwords, the reality is, there’s a big difference between having a set of values on a wall and actually embedding them into the culture and in turn making an impact in your business. In case you don’t know the term, workplace values are a set of guiding principles that reflect your company’s beliefs, ethics and decisions. They define who you are as a business, what you believe in and what you value. This is different to culture, which is how your values come to life.

Why are workplace values important?

At this point, you probably already have an understanding of why having a set of core values is important and how they can impact the overall culture of a business. However, to be effective your core values need to be lived and breathed by everyone and seamlessly integrated into the business not just the recruitment process. In a world where ethics and values are increasingly important to employees and customers alike, you better believe that they can identify if the business is not actually living by their values.

Here are some benefits of implementing meaningful values:

  • Easier to attract like-minded people who fit in with the company culture and align with the business

  • Attract passive candidates who align with the business however are not actively looking for opportunities

  • Retain top talent and experience improved employee loyalty

  • Boost employee engagement

  • Improve overall productivity, motivation, and efficiency

  • Helps to guide all levels of the organisation in making decisions

  • Sets the standard for how everyone acts and communicates

  • Impacts innovation to focus on areas that improve results and business ROI

  • Assists in managing behaviours that don’t align with your business

In summary, by developing and promoting a core set of values, employers will be in a better position to attract candidates that align with business goals. By recruiting likeminded people, this then improves retention as there are people in the business who already share similar beliefs and fit in with the culture and team. For advice around developing or embedding your workplace values, please reach out to your Streamline HR consultant.


We are sure you already know, but for our clients in New Zealand, just a reminder that end of financial year (EOFY) was on March 31st, which means a busy month ahead! Whilst this time can be stressful it can also be a useful way to review how your business has gone over the last 12 months and start business planning for the coming year. When you want a break from looking at figures, profit and loss and balance sheets, take time out to establish some goals and a clear plan of what you want to achieve. We promise it doesn’t need to be hard! If you missed it, we explored business planning earlier this year and gave some helpful tips on how you can do this in a simple way.


Australis Biggest morning Tea is Cancer Council Australia’s largest event of its kind. Celebrated on 19th May 2022, this is a great day to show your support and raise funds for cancer as well as engage your team. To take part in the day you can:

  • Register your event on the website

  • Host the event and providing morning tea or have everyone bring a plate. Don’t forget to invite those working remotely and they can join via teams or zoom

  • Ask employees to make a donation and bank the funds, these funds help to provide support services, cancer research and educational prevention programs

Please contact us if you need help or advice regarding any of these topics or laws, policy reviews or workplace training.

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