Employee wellbeing: Unique perspective from Ports of Auckland

Published 30 January 2024

The concept of employee well-being often becomes a buzzword lost in the corporate ether. Yet, its significance cannot be overstated, especially in environments where safety isn't just a policy but a way of life.

Meet Philip Doak, the General Manager of Safety & Wellbeing at Ports of Auckland, who brings a refreshing take on nurturing workplace wellness. In a world where compliance often overshadows culture, Philip advocates for a shift towards a more holistic approach, one that resonates deeply with the Kiwis.

In Philip's view, the discourse around employee wellbeing has lost its authenticity, drowning in a sea of catchphrases and trendy solutions. He believes that the heart of the matter lies not in the latest fad but in understanding the unique needs of both the organisation and its people.

Organic collaboration

Collaboration, according to Philip, isn't just a buzzword; it's a cornerstone of progress. He shares insights from the port industry's collective efforts to confront challenges head-on, emphasising the power of shared learning and the wisdom gained from each other's journeys.

Philip candidly recounts a time when even the most well-intentioned wellness programs missed the mark. It wasn't about flashy initiatives or data-driven schemes; it was about recognising the deeply personal nature of wellbeing and the delicate balance between support and intrusion.

So, what's the secret sauce to fostering genuine employee well-being? Philip's answer is refreshingly simple yet profound: organic collaboration. He advocates for a culture where employees aren't just recipients of wellness mandates but active participants in their own journey towards betterment.

"Driving people's purpose and connecting their purpose with the purpose of the organisation is the real foundation,"

Philip shares, his words echoing the essence of a true Kiwi ethos. For him, it's not about quick fixes or overnight solutions; it's about building trust, nurturing relationships, and creating a space where individuals feel valued, heard, and respected.

In the end, it's not about ticking boxes or meeting quotas; it's about fostering a culture of care, where wellbeing isn't just a program but a way of life—a journey embarked upon together, hand in hand.

As Philip prepares to share his insights at the upcoming HRD National HR Summit New Zealand, his message reverberates across the corporate landscape:

"Organically work with your employees to help them make the right decisions in life."

It's a mantra that resonates not just in the boardrooms but in the hearts of every leader, manager, and HR professional striving to create a workplace where people truly thrive.

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