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Workplace wellbeing

The workplace is an ideal setting for a wellbeing framework as a great number of people spend large portions of their waking hours at work and evidence has proven that workplace wellbeing programmes benefit both the employee and the employer


Workplace Wellbeing – Kia Haumaru, Kia Hauora

The workplace is an ideal setting for a wellbeing framework. People often spend large portions of their waking hours at work, it is easy to reach a great number of people at once, and evidence has proven that workplace wellbeing programmes benefit both the employee and the employer. These benefits include: 

Employer Benefits 

Employee Benefits 

Reduced absenteeism 

Direct health impacts 

Increased productivity 

Increased energy and motivation 

Reduced turnover 

Increased resilience in times of pressure 

Improved service delivery 

Greater ability to balance work and family life 


In the past, workplace wellbeing has been seen as a 'nice extra' but workplaces are now starting to realise the great impact it can have on their organisational culture, their people, and even the wider community. For example, parents who are in good physical and mental health will be better equipped to support their whānau in terms of education and quality time spent together.  

If a workplace wellness programme is to be successful, there must be: 

  • Support from management throughout the process 
  • Employee participation at all stages – to ensure the programme encourages participation 
  • Two-way communication between management and general staff 
  • A needs assessment that uses worker prioritisations as the basis for the development of the wellbeing programme 
  • Ongoing evaluation of the programme, and a process of continual improvement 
  • A multi-level approach 



Toi Te Ora Public Health Service developed and piloted a best-practice workplace wellness framework called WorkWell which encompasses all of these criteria. This has proven to be successful and many DHBs around Aotearoa have been trained to deliver WorkWell in their region.  

The SDHB now has WorkWell advisors available to work with organisations in the Otago and Southland regions to help them implement this framework and reap the benefits. If you are an employer and are interested, or for more information, it is recommended to register your interest on the website by clicking here. Registering means a WorkWell advisor in your area will be in touch to talk more about the programme and whether it is a good fit for your workplace. The benefits of WorkWell as a workplace wellbeing programme compared to other programmes are available on the website, or by clicking here

Other resources 

If you are from a small-to-medium size company (up to 50 employees), and you don't feel like you have the resources to implement WorkWell, you can look into Good4Work. This is a great option if you feel comfortable taking charge to lead and evaluate the workplace wellness in your organisation. is a rich source of information for those looking for free workplace wellbeing resources like informative videos, case studies, and free-to-print resources such as brochures and posters. 

If you are interested in watching a short (1 minute 18 seconds) video on what a healthy workplace is, please click here.  

To contact someone at Public Health South to talk more about workplace wellbeing, please click here for a list of contacts.