University workplace health promotion programmes: Getting the balance right

Gone are the days when employers would simply pay employees to get on with their work. Nowadays, there is a growing expectation that employers consider the overall wellbeing of their employees. Indeed, when advertising job vacancies, organisations promote their workplace health promotion programmes, touted as caring for their employees’ physical and mental wellbeing. But are there designs behind such programmes that adequately align them with the expectations and preferred outcomes of organisations and employees? How can highly diverse organisations get the balance right and allocate resources for such programmes effectively? And what if budget restrictions threaten to throw a spanner in the works? These are some of the questions behind research from Australia that examined health promotion programmes. What the research discovered has highlighted the challenges organisations face in addressing multiple expectations around employee health. The outcomes also raised some eyebrows.

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