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What makes a healthy workplace?

4 April 2016 - 9:31am

There's no shortage of information on how you can keep your workplace fit and healthy - from office plants to daily "stretch time" sessions. But is the obvious one passing under your radar?

Corporate health insurance helps companies to create a central policy for their health and wellness campaigns. By paying for some or all of employees' health insurance costs, more people are given access to a second tier of healthcare.

It is also a widely used benefit for employees across Australia, meaning it can help in attracting, motivating and retaining the top talent that's out there. This staff engagement holy trinity is a crucial part of a modern business' success, and will become even more emphasised when we look at what is to come.

By paying for some or all of employees' health insurance costs, more people are given access to a second tier of healthcare.

Employees seeking change

According to Deloitte, our youngest working generation (the millennials) - a group who will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2020 - is not shy about moving to a new place of employment. In fact, 50 per cent of them are ready to switch employment in the next two years.

Focusing on the wellbeing of your workforce with a corporate health plan is a good way to encourage the right people to stay, and from there, a business can aim to become a major player in terms of offering a healthy workplace.

But what else will you need? What sets a good company apart from a great one in this regard? Health insurer HBF had some interesting findings in its Top 10 Healthiest Workplaces in Western Australia review.

In the latest competition, WA Super took the accolade. Could your business learn from this healthy high performer?


Corporate health insurance, business health plan, mental health Australia, researchAustralia's workforce is open to the idea of moving to a new employer should they offer something you don't.

Opening the lines of communication

HBF surveyed many of Perth's major organisations and found one thing that set WA Super apart was a focus on communication - not simply presuming they knew what employees wanted and needed. The company's CEO, John McNally, explained in more detail.

"We have regular communication with our employees about their personal wellness," he began. "We were able to categorise employee feedback into those of 'planners' who have 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."

The same can be a focus in a corporate health plan. Before taking out any old policy, check with your employees to gauge what they really favour. The team at HICA can help here, too.


Corporate health insurance, business health plan, mental health Australia, researchOpen lines of communication to find out what employees really want from a health plan.

Aim for a healthy body and mind

For the first time, this round of findings from HBF included employee's mental health as well as just their fitness. A great company will aim to limit things like stress and mental illness as much as they promote physical activity.

However, this can be a difficult issue to approach, as HBF Executive General Manager for Health and Wellness Jennifer Solitario discovered.

"We found that even amongst some organisations that scored well for mental health measures there was a reticence about discussing their results," she said. "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."

It could be a consideration in your corporate health policy to include mental healthcare, as research suggests fewer than half of people with a mental illness seek treatment. Offering an avenue for subsidised health insurance could be highly valued among key employees.


Corporate health insurance, business health plan, mental health Australia, researchMental issues are becoming a greater point of focus in employee health and wellbeing.

Becoming a high performer

Do you need a hand fine-tuning your corporate health plan, or even creating one entirely? HICA's experts are on hand and ready to assist by using our experience and networks to compare business health insurance policies that will be of interest to you.

Call us on 1300 44 22 01 to take a step in a new and healthy direction.