Happiness and laughter in the workplace

News Archive

10 Reasons to Win Funding for Workplace Wellbeing

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Workplace Wellbeing

Employers of choice recognise that wellbeing programs don’t just payoff in terms of health – they pay good dividends to the business too.

1. 20% of employees have a mental health disorder1, which can affect productivity in many ways, including;

a. Fatigue
b. Motivational issues
c. Difficulty managing a routine
d. Difficulty performing physical job tasks
e. Difficulty managing their workload2

Helping your staff deal with these has a productivity dividend.

2. One of the most common diseases resulting in serious workers compensation claims is mental disorders6.

3. Up to 60% of absenteeism is attributable to stress-related disorders3.  Building the resilience of your team will help them deal with adversity and stress.

4. One in five employees are unhappy at work4.  Happy workers spend twice as much time focused on task then unhappy staff.

5. Up to 35% of cardiovascular disease in men and one third of depression in women can be attributed to job stress5.

6. The direct cost of workplace injury and disease in Australia has been estimated at over $7 billion per year nationally5.  Indirect costs are much higher.  Wellbeing programs reduce these.

7. Healthy employees are three times more productive than unhealthy employees8.

8. Happy workers place less emphasis on pay, stay longer in their roles and take less sick leave4.

9. Stress is also indicated in dangerous weight gain.  People in poor health perform worse at work9.

10. Healthy work programs can generate medical savings of about $3.27 and absenteeism-related savings of about $2.73 for every dollar invested7

The case for a wellbeing program is clear – keep up the good work.  Contact us if you’d like our free powerpoint to help you make your case to the executive.


1.  Australian Bureau of Statistics.  National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007.

2.  Lerner D, et al. Work performance of employees with depression: the impact of work stressors. Am J Health Promotion 24(3), 2010.

3.  Fletcher B. The epidemiology of occupational stress. In: Cooper C, Payne R, editors. Causes, Coping and Consequences of Stress at Work. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 1988:3-50.

4.  Chiumento.  “Happiness at Work Index Research Report 2007.”

5.  Vic Health.  “Workplace Stress in Victoria – Developing a systems approach”

6.  Safe Work Australia, Compendium 2007/08.

7. Health and Fitness Summit of the American College of Sports Medicine.

8.  Medibank, The Cost of Workplace Stress.

9.  Work Stress and Health: the Whitehall  II Study, 2004.

1 Day Conference for more Happiness, Health and Wellbeing at Work

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Workplace Wellbeing

We are pleased to be supporting the 5th annual Happiness, Health and Wellbeing @ Work conference on September 14.   Our very own Cris Popp (along with Joanna McMillian) will be helping participants identify and overcome some of the challenges to wellbeing at work.  This is a great opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others and the wisdom of the experts.  If you’ve never seen Cris speak – don’t miss out – he’s a great speaker.  As well, Tony Grant, from the ABC’s ‘Making Australia Happy’ will present lessons learnt and explain how these ideas can be applied in Australian workplaces.

The conference is run out of Sydney University and features Australia’s leading experts on psychology, leadership and Human Resources with the latest research and strategies on workplace health and wellbeing programs.

It attracts around 100-150 HR Managers, OHS staff and Wellbeing Managers each year from both the private and public sector and is especially useful for those involved in implementing Wellbeing programs in the workplace.

It is also great for anyone who is looking for health and wellbeing ideas to take back to their workplace.

More information about the conference can be found on the conference website http://www.happyworkplaces.com.au/

The Secret to Making Workplace Wellbeing Easy

Friday, June 24th, 2011
Workplace Wellbeing

Most wellbeing programs start of as an idea.  The CEO or HR manager decides that it’s time to implement a wellbeing program.  They give the task to you (or one of your colleagues).  It’s usually well intended but even so it’s important you understand WHY your organisation wants to implement a wellbeing program.

Once that is clear you think “I’ll show my stuff” and sit down and start planning – but what to include?  You might start doing a search on what is available eg: massage, fruit, walking clubs, laughter yoga (we provide all of these), stress-management, resilience – but which do you choose?

You might even have a staff survey you can refer to.  But both of these still leave you largely in the dark – what is it that people really want, need and will improve their wellbeing.

Experience will help you choose the right ingredients but all of these methods still don’t guarantee the commitment of the most important person for your wellbeing program – the end users.

More importantly the program you devise is all the responsibility of the organisation –  ultimately that’s you.  Wellbeing is affected by our workplaces but it’s also affected by our personal lives, habits and make-up.  It’s the responsibility of both the individual AND workplace.  How do you make that happen?

The answer to personal commitment AND a wellbeing program is simple: Ask your staff to come up with their own wellbeing plan FIRST and then devise the organisation’s wellbeing program.  That way you’ll include exactly the interventions that are needed and you’ll get staff buy-in.  It’s change management 101.

Most wellbeing providers don’t tell you about this because:

  • They come from a wellbeing background but have no experience in organisational development.
  • They don’t care because they are there to sell you wellbeing ‘products’

So the secret:  Start with individuals and devise the organisational program from that base – NOT the other way around.

How do you do that and not get overwhelmed by all the information?  Give us a call and we’ll happily share our experience.  We have a range of templates and advice we can give you.  An initial consultation is free.