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WORKPLACE WELLBEING

Gisborne businesses rank below national index average.

Gisborne busiensses need to do better when considering workers' wellbeing, a new report shows.

In a New Zealand first, Skills Consulting Group has released a new national wellbeing index that gives a snapshot of workplace wellbeing across almost 1500 organisations, with Gisborne workplaces sitting at 60/100, just slightly below the national average of 62/100.

Skills Consulting Group wellbeing general manager Jane Kennelly said the results reveal fruit bowls and yoga classes are perceived by staff as evidence of an “insincere box-ticking mentality” and Kiwi businesses have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to wellbeing in the workplace.

Gisborne Chamber of Commerce president Belinda Mackay agreed.

“This is disappointing to see that we rank below the national average in workplace wellbeing given that the actual wellbeing rank, at 62, was low in the first place,” she said.

“What this score indicates is that while the term ‘wellbeing' is being bandied about, perhaps employers don't actually have the skill set to implement policies and practices to improve the situation. They themselves may also be struggling in the workplace environment too, and so it becomes a cycle of unhappiness at work.

“This of course, leads to lower productivity.

“It would be great if Trust Tairawhiti, under its wellbeing framework, could offer training schemes on how employers can improve wellbeing for employees.

“I'm sure that a lot of us business owners would attend that training.”

The index, which will be released annually, measures what is really important to Kiwi workers in the workplace; what contributes to their workplace wellbeing; and if they feel their current organisation has a wellbeing culture.

“We know that work wellbeing is important — that's a no-brainer,” Ms Kennelly said.

“The Work Wellbeing Index takes that discussion to a new level and quantifies exactly where we are at in New Zealand workplaces and sets a benchmark for improvement.

“Demonstrating ‘genuine care' has the biggest positive impact on workplace culture. The data exposed a significant gap that exists between what employees expect and what employers offer in this area.

“Organisations that show genuine care for their managers and colleagues, as opposed to the tick-box approach, are clearly identified as coming out on top,” Ms Kennelly said.

“Sixty-three percent of employees said a positive wellbeing culture is number one when looking for a job, yet employers are falling short, with workers saying only 40 percent of their employers actually meet their needs.

“Intriguingly, we see that as satisfaction in the workplace increases, so does employees' overall satisfaction with life, jumping from 36 percent to 85 percent.

“We know there's a blurring between people's work and personal lives, and this research is showing us that cultivating a work wellbeing culture can play a vital part in impacting a person's life,” Mrs Kennelly said.

“We will be revisiting the Work Wellbeing Index annually so we'll be looking into whether we can drill down on a regional basis for future studies that will allow us to understand how Kiwi businesses, in places such as Gisborne, are doing — and hopefully improving — in terms of providing wellbeing in the workplace.”