Canterbury DHB recognised for improving staff wellbeing

Wednesday May 27, 2015

Canterbury DHB is among key business leaders publicly recognised for their commitment to improve staff wellbeing.

The DHB is one of three finalists in the 'Vitae best initiative to improve employee wellness' category of the New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards 2015 tonight (May 27, 2015).

David Meates, Canterbury DHB Chief Executive, says the DHB is thrilled to be a finalist for its Wellbeing Workshops held for line managers in response to post quake stressors.

"It's great news to be named a finalist in these awards but it's important to emphasise the motives behind the DHB's efforts to improve staff wellness," Mr Meates says.

"Following the disruptions of the 2010 and 2011 seismic events, it became very clear staff were understandably struggling. So we wanted to do something about it to help them get through."

Mr Meates says the Wellbeing Workshops are an innovative initiative with a deliberate focus on supporting line managers by providing knowledge and tools to encourage them to actively manage their emotional/mental wellbeing.

"This was not a programme designed to directly increase productivity, rather it was focused on supporting managers to remain resilient through a period of unprecedented change and by doing so achieve a 'trickle down' effect on the wellbeing of general staff."​

Staff are living through a massive rebuild for Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals and an extensive quake repair programme, he says.

"Many staff have already changed the location at which they work and are dealing with invasive repair work being undertaken in functioning clinical areas."

Mr Meates says the scale of this disruption is unparalleled in the New Zealand health system.

"Outside the work environment many staff continue to face multiple 'secondary stressors' such as dealing with the Earth Quake Commission (EQC) and insurance companies, badly damaged roads, school closures, damaged homes, anxious and upset children, and the loss of sport/recreation infrastructure.

"It's remarkable our staff have actually managed to get through as well as they have done and it's important that as employers we continue to support them so they can continue to deliver world class care to the community."

Winners for all categories, and an overall winner, will be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland tonight, May 27, 2015.

Page last reviewed: 27 May 2015
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