NOJA Power

Powering up a Wellness Program

ASHLEY SMITH: Oh hi! Welcome to NOJA Power. My name’s Ashley Smith. I’m a Production Engineer here.

QUYNH ANH LE [FINANCE DIRECTOR]: NOJA Power manufactures electrical switchgear. We export our product to about 80 countries around the world and…

NEIL O’SULLIVAN [MANAGING DIRECTOR]: …we’re a Queensland Workplace for Wellness.

JAY MANNE [ENGINEERING DIRECTOR]: So the health and wellbeing program that we’re running at the moment, and have done for the second year now was one of Neil’s initiatives.

NEIL: A few Christmases ago, I was sitting on a balcony, thinking about how can we create a better workforce? How can we create a better environment for our employees? How can we attract our employees to stay with us? And so I decided that one of the things we should be doing, is our health and wellbeing program. And in particular, it started with a health check.

ASHLEY: I’m going to show you some of these things, after I’ve had a shower. Ah, ah ahh!

OK, the tour starts now. As you can see, we’ve got showers and lockers to support us, to be active.

JAY: In summer time, cycling to work is, is pretty full on. You’re, you’re pretty sweaty when you get here, and to have a cool down in a shower, and somewhere to put your gear, is very important.

JAY: So since we started encouraging people to think about their health, there’s been a bit of a spike in the number of bicycles on the racks. And if I come in a bit late some mornings, it is, is a bit difficult to, to find something in there.

ASHLEY: This is obviously our lunchroom. It’s been upgraded recently to incorporate places to keep our food hot, places to keep our food cold so we can easily bring prepared meals from home. We’ve also got our fruit bowl pro….

NEIL: We encourage our employees to eat fruit, and we provide two pieces of fruit for every employee every day.

QUYNH ANH LE: So at two or three o’clock, instead of craving for a chocolate bar, we then go and get an apple or pear instead.

PETA NORGROVE [ACCOUNTS AND CONTRACT COORDINATOR]: My favourite initiative is probably the fruit bowls. Every day, I, I do take a piece of fruit, and it’s really, really nice. And also the seminars…

ASHLEY: NOJA Power puts on several seminars and workshops throughout the year and here’s one now. Oooo, food!

RENEE KAHAKI [PRODUCTION OPERATOR]: Yeah, you get to hear the things you should and shouldn’t do, and…

SHANE ANDERSEN [STOREMAN] …I thought it… oh yeah, just time off work, an hour off work, or something. But no, it’s helped out.

PETA: I’ve learnt a lot, particularly in the seminar about reading labels and things, you know. That was a real eye-opener for me.

RENEE: I learnt to… yes, the read the label parts, because I have no idea when I go to the grocery store, and I just pick up a label and, what do I do here?

PETA: Portion control is probably a big thing that I’ve taken away from the program. That was something that I learnt at the seminar.

NEIL: We sponsor a range of extracurricular activities, in particular Bridge to Brisbane.

ASHLEY: I’m in training.

NEIL: Bridge to Brisbane is something that I’m quite proud of, in that…

OLEG SAMARSKI [SERVICE DIRECTOR]: …we started with a very small team but this year we’ll have more than 100 people participating as part of NOJA Power.

NEIL: Dragon boating is something else that we encourage our staff to do. And we have two teams that do it and then we have a race against each other.

NEIL: Normally, the boat that I’m in wins.

ASHLEY: NOJA Power offers free vaccinations and health checks, here, if we want.

NEIL: Wesley Health have been providing us with the services. They, they provide the staff to do the medical checks. They provide the vaccinations every year.

QUYNH ANH LE: It’s a good program because sometimes people don’t take the time to go and see the doctor, just because we’re all too busy.

NEIL: I think the annual health checks will ultimately save lives.

NEIL: During the health checks for 2013, there was… about eight to 10 per cent of our employees were referred on to medical specialists for potential areas where, where they could, where they could address.

SHANE: I did a health check, and didn’t do real good, yeah.

SHANE: Well I said I was a bit overweight for my age.

JAY: Since the inception of the health and wellbeing program, there has been a, an observable increase in, in people being aware of their health…

QUYNH ANH LE: …and the way to improve that. So I think that’s probably the most positive thing to come out.

NEIL: Everyone is eating healthier than, than what they previously were. As a result of that, we’ve seen a lot of people lose weight and in some cases, significant amounts of weight.

OLEG: I lost about seven or eight kilos after seminars started.

PETA: It’s very beneficial, not only to the individuals, but to the company itself.

NEIL: It’s like most things in business: you, you should make the decision based on the return on investment you’re going to get. And the return on investment in this case, is absolutely worth it.

We’ve seen a decrease in sick leave. We’ve seen an increase in productivity. We’ve seen an increase in loyalty; so, so our staff turnover has reduced.

QUYNH ANH LE: Work is a, a good place to start, to, to initiate this, this program because that then flows through to the stuff of what they do at home.

SHANE: ’cause I go home and take it … what I learn here, I take home, and introduce it to the family, and try and make them aware of it too.

JAY: It’s critical for people to be as healthy as they can, so that they can enjoy their life now while they’re working, and then continue to enjoy it afterwards, as they retire.

SHANE: I’m thinkin’ of just changing me whole lifestyle.

SHANE: Yeah, get healthier food, stop eating junk food, stop having three, four, six cans of coke a day.

SHANE: ’cause with two kids now, I need to be healthy to go out, outside and play with them. I need to be around for when they get older.

ASHLEY: Well, that’s some of the things going on at NOJA Power, wellness wise. Hope it sparked some interest.

ASHLEY: We’re planning a few more activities in the future so, in a few years, we’ll come back and see how we’re going. See ya!

NEIL: My general message would be if you’re a competitor don’t put this program in place. Although if you’re not a competitor, then absolutely invest in the program. It’s well worth it.

Please note: this initiative was previously known as Workplaces for Wellness. For a short period, many resources will still refer to Workplaces for Wellness.