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Do Wellness Programs Actually Work?

September 11, 2018



Workplace wellness programs are quickly gaining traction as an essential element for a healthy office culture. We chat to a recruitment leader and two professors about their lessons learnt and findings about wellness programs.


It seems wellness programs are not a fad, not a buzz-phrase and not going anywhere soon. In fact, workplace wellness programs are quickly becoming the new norm, as employers recognise happy staff make for higher productivity, engagement and commitment to the business.


Increasingly, businesses have started to understand that helping staff to negotiate the stresses of life, whether they be work-related or otherwise, is a smart business investment.

Giles Keay (pictured right), Managing Director of Sydney-based Constructive Recruitment, recently introduced the “peoplefirst” initiative for his staff after witnessing the ongoing pressures that balancing work and home life can have on individuals.


Constructive has a core focus on what it calls the “Happiness Advantage” principles which are geared around increasing productivity, engagement and success through ensuring individuals’ happiness and positivity.

Keay said this is now an ingrained feature of the business following its adoption almost two years ago and included having Happiness Coach Alex Dawson from Positive Scenario as their guest speaker at their 2017 conference.


Keay described the process over the past 12 months as an evolution.

“We have always had a core focus on our employees since hiring our first staff member in 2004 but following our commitment to this strategy we then created a ‘Best Place to Work’ team comprising four individuals in the business who have pulled together our commitment to our staff, peoplefirst,” Keay said. “The feedback, engagement and support to implement these initiatives by the business has been amazing.”

The peoplefirst initiative has been designed to cover five areas for staff:

• Health and wellbeing

• Rewards

• Flexibility
• Career and personal development

• And the little extras


This includes flexible working arrangements, capacity to work remotely, incentive schemes which are particular to staff and which can include holidays to Bali for staff meeting their targets, career pathways and guidance and the capacity to alter working arrangements for individuals.