Boab Health Services is a not-for-profit registered charity. They provide multidisciplinary primary health care services in allied health, mental health and care coordination for people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Health and Wellbeing Profile
Boab Health Services’ workplace health and wellbeing program has been running for more than 5 years and is coordinated by the Boab Health Service’s Dietitian and supported by a working group.
Boab Health Services’ workplace health and wellbeing program was initiated by senior management. The Primary Health Care Manager was passionate about promoting health and wellbeing to not only Boab Health Service clients, but also to employees. Following support from the CEO, Boab Health Service identified a motivated program coordinator who then undertook HWWA coordinator training. The program coordinator established a health and wellbeing program working group and carried out staff consultation (such as a workplace survey) to assess and review the health and wellbeing needs of employees, and previous health and wellbeing activities. Boab Health Service undertook a review of the existing Healthy Workplace Policy and developed an action plan which is reviewed and updated annually.
“By way of our Health and Wellbeing Program (HWP) staff survey, staff identified their priorities and suggestion for our HWP initiatives. Our HWP initiatives are specific and reactive to their engagement which drives more engagement in the program,” says the Boab Health Services' Program Coordinator.
“Having a HWP working group with staff from both Broome and Kununurra to champion the program across all locations has also helped promote it.”
Health and Wellbeing Achievements
Boab Health Services' workplace health and wellbeing program encompasses a wide range of different strategies and activities, including:
A dedicated program coordinator to plan and oversee health and wellbeing activities
Detailed action plan which outlines strategies that will be implemented over the next 12 months and how these will be achieved.
Healthy Workplace Policy which outlines their commitment to creating a workplace culture that supports and encourages healthy lifestyles to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Healthy Catering Guidelines which ensure a variety of healthy foods and drinks are available at all internal and external meetings, functions and events.
A smoke-free workplace policy and reimbursed costs for workers participating in recognised smoking cessation programs as determined by Quitline. All new staff are informed it is a smoke-free workplace at induction and there is also smoke-free signage displayed around both office locations.
A social calendar promoting activities where alcohol is not the primary focus. The Australian Alcohol Guidelines are promoted to all staff and alcohol is also not able to be used as gifts.
Annual pedometer challenges to encourage workers to be more physically active and reduce their sitting time.
Effective communication of workplace health initiatives and the benefits of healthy lifestyles through regular health email bulletins, posters, newsletters and discussion at team meetings.
Workplace pool bikes available for staff to use for close-by active transport
Flexible working hours and provision of end of trip facilities; showers and lockers at both sites to encourage workers to be physically active before, during and after work.
Weekly healthy shared lunches where all staff are encouraged to bring a plate of healthy food to share with their colleagues.
Ongoing evaluation of healthy workplace initiatives.
Three tips from Boab Health Services for other workplaces include:
Focus on the positive additions to the workplace (such as standing desks, healthy lifestyle budget, fruit bowl) rather than what you are removing to improve health and wellbeing
Staff consultation and reaction/follow through is essential for staff engagement and respect for the program
Ensure thorough recruitment of proactive healthy workplace working group members and champions. Formalise meetings with minutes and designated actions to promote accountability - everyone gets busy and staff need gentle reminders from time to time.
Having a workplace which supports my health and wellbeing is such a huge benefit. It makes it so easy for me to role model healthy lifestyle to my clients and to the community. Our organisation actively encourages us to take care of ourselves, so I no longer have stress or worry about doing something that is good for me.