AGL’s passion for supporting their employees to thrive
Thu 16 September 2021
Image: Robert Hart, Health and Wellbeing Business Partner at AGL.
AGL had a mission to be a leader in creating a positive employee experience. While the organisation had achieved notably in the areas of diversity and inclusion, family-friendly work practices and employee experiences, there was an appetite to do more in the space of health and wellbeing.
“There was not a single catalyst. It was more of an integration of health and wellbeing as a component of ‘how we do business here”, says Robert Hart, Health and Wellbeing business partner.
By incorporating more support for health and wellbeing, the benefits for AGL spoke for themselves. Organisations that focus on health and wellbeing are more likely to retain talent, create a positive employee experience, and provide flexibility and freedom to speak up, creating a psychologically safe workplace.
For AGL, one way health and wellbeing is integrated into the business is through “Thrive”, a comprehensive suite of in-house programs with external partnerships to support employees in three key areas: physical vitality, mental fitness and emotional agility.
“As the in-house subject matter expert and dedicated health and wellbeing resource, I work with AGL leaders, our communications team, and a variety of teams at operational sites and corporate locations to engage our employees on all aspects of health and wellbeing, from improving energy levels, to mental health, to preventative measures.”
Thrive is a multi-channel approach using blended learning, including resource portals and apps.
Throughout the lockdown, AGL designed focus groups to find out how to best support employee’s mental health.
“The consensus was that a more visible and tailored approach was required, so I we embarked on rebranding health and wellbeing and designing a range of workshops for teams, offering much-needed support on a range of mental and physical health initiatives.”
In early 2021, the Health and Wellbeing team partnered with their communications and HR teams to curate and deliver an executive-sponsored campaign around prioritising wellbeing, resulting in 18,000 hits on AGL’s internal networking tool Yammer, 1000 attendees at three workshops and virtual ‘appearances’ at six operational sites.
The aim for AGL is to improve employee engagement by providing support for the health and wellbeing of employees and foster a positive culture where the safety and care of employees is always front of mind.
The benefits are numerous. Aside from the positive feedback, employees report they feel safe in raising issues around mental health, diversity and workplace flexibility.
The approach to health and wellbeing is supported by a coordinated program of events that tie in with national/international days on mental health, and awareness sessions on sleep, nutrition, emotional agility, mindfulness and building energy.
For organisations that are at the start of the journey of developing the health and wellbeing programs for their employees, Robert offers his advice.
“I am a strong believer in enthusiasm being contagious. Get people excited, energised and engaged. Help them understand ‘what’s in it for them’ to care about their health and wellbeing. Once their attention is captured, you’ll need to sustain it. I would absolutely recommend having an in-house expert with proven track record in an evidence-based approach to health and wellbeing.”
To see how our other members are supporting their employees’ mental health, view our story on PwC Australia giving workers the Green Light to Talk about mental health, or learn how DCJ supports their employees mental health.