Virgin Australia sets standard for workplace mental health

by HRD12 Oct 2018

Virgin Australia is supporting the mental health of employees by making their Smiling Mind workplace program available via its internal health and wellbeing platform, Better Me.

The program was developed by organisational psychologists and mindfulness experts, and provides dedicated content intended to address today’s workplace needs.

Smiling Mind CEO, Dr Addie Wootten, said that through mindfulness, employees learn to build strong relationships, engage in mindful communication and become a better leader.

“This has a flow-on effect to the business, providing outcomes such as increased engagement, reduced stress, enhanced performance and productivity,” said Dr Wootten.

She added that the workplace program is one of the world’s biggest and is used by more than 20,000 employees at companies like IBM, Fitness First, Optus, BP and Seek.

“The content has been developed by psychologists and mindfulness experts to address today’s working environment concerns.”

The program offers more than 40 guided meditations to help with stress, sleep, decision making, concentration and focus.

The announcement follows Virgin Australia’s announcement to create a new flight program specifically designed to calm anxious flyers, in partnership with Smiling Mind.

In early 2019, passengers can state if they have travel anxiety when they book their ticket, which will lead to personalised communications in the lead up to their journey, and face-to-face interactions with trained staff during the flight.

Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson said integrating mindfulness into our everyday lives is “just as important as eating well and exercising regularly”, and the he is “so excited to see Virgin Australia deeply embedding mindfulness into the workplace and onboard flights”.

“Virgin Australia is very focused on supporting the mental health of its passengers and team members, and there are very few of us who haven’t been directly or indirectly impacted by anxiety.”

Dr Wootten added that mindfulness is an excellent tool to combat travel-related stress.

“As little as a couple of minutes of meditation can improve our overall sense of calm and wellbeing during a flight. And what better time than in air to meditate; we would love to see every passenger use air travel to give their mind time to thrive.”

 

COMMENTS

  • by Gina McCredie 16/10/2018 11:54:02 AM

    For those interested in workplace health standards, the Australian Psychological Society and APS College of Organisational Psychologists have an annual awards program for recognising workplace health programs of excellence (www.workplaceexcellenceawards.com.au). The Workplace Excellence awards set a standard for industry. This year's finalists in the workplace health and safety category are:
    - The Attorney-General's Department SA - for their Wellbeing in the Workplace program
    - CommuniCorp Group and Australia Post - for Supporting Positive Mental Health at Australia Post
    - Dept of Education & Training Victoria - for their Principal Health & Wellbeing Strategy
    - National Australia Bank - for the NAB Assist Wellbeing at Work program

    Learn more about these programs and the finalists in other categories (Talent Management, Leadership Development and Coaching, Organisational Change, Organisational Development, Performance and Capability Development, and Emerging Trends in Organisational Psychology) at the 1-day showcase event on Thursday 25 October 2018 in Melbourne, where 14 of the latest best practice case studies will be presented: http://www.workplaceexcellenceawards.com.au/showcase-program/

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