Logan staff keep in top health

Staff of Logan City Council in southeast Queensland are keeping fit and performing better at work with the assistance of Council’s Team Top Health (TTH). The program was introduced by senior management in 2003 to address increasing absenteeism.

Logan Mayor Pam Parker said the program aims to create a healthy and happy workplace culture, which translates to savings through staff retention, protecting the wealth of knowledge and valued experience that long term staff bring to any organisation.

“People spend so much time at work that it is important to create a workplace that is healthy, while at the same time being somewhere that people really enjoy working,” she said.

Council’s People and Culture Manager, Mike Ellis, said TTH is focused on holistic health and wellbeing.

“This makes it different to other corporate health programs that tend to only focus on cardiovascular health,” he said. “We believe that high levels of job satisfaction lead to reduced absenteeism. Based on this belief, the outcomes of the program are clear for everyone.”

Since TTH was introduced, Council has earned the reputation as being a positive employer, absenteeism has greatly reduced and staff are providing positive feedback about the program. Mike Ellis said reduced turnover for Council means reduced recruitment costs, increased quality of applicants for consideration of key roles, and a general feeling among most staff towards doing the ‘right thing’.

“Culture is like gravity. You can’t see it but you can feel its pull,” he said. “And here at Logan City Council we have a work culture with a strong positive influence.

“Council has an annual Performance Planning and Review process, in which staff have the opportunity to rate their role and satisfaction with Council. The last measurement in 2009 averaged 79 per cent satisfaction.”

TTH has a calendar of events as wideranging as Dragon Boat racing and Go Cart racing, through to prominently placed posters encouraging people to take the stairs.

“We conduct activities that appeal not only to those who may be naturally athletic, but to all interests,” Mike Ellis said. “Some of the activities available for people with less athletic interests include environmental walks, self defence activities, yoga, meditation, quit smoking campaigns, Weight Watchers and work and health cooking demonstrations.

“Walking pound dogs is another new initiative, where staff can visit the Animal Control Centre and learn about keeping pets happy and healthy, as well as Council requirements.”

The program also extends beyond staff.

“One of the most popular activities is Kids at Work Day, where the children of parents who work at Council are invited to visit for the day,” Mike Ellis said. “The children are kept busy with a range of activities throughout the day, and are also taken on tours of the city.  

“Children who participate return year after year, suggesting it is a popular activity. The flowon effect is that parents get to show their children where they work and the children get to meet some of their parent’s work colleagues. It supports one of the holistic goals of the TTH program – to create a family friendly workplace.”

In 2009 the TTH program was recognised by the Queensland Government under its Healthy Queensland Awards program.  

Council took out the Inland South East Queensland Healthiest Workplace Regional Award and was also a finalist in the Statewide Healthy Queensland Awards. 

For further information contact Mike Ellis on (07) 3412 3412.