The Māori holistic wellbeing model developed in NZ by Dr Mason Durie, can be adapted for use in your workplace. It provides a good foundation for physical, emotional, and mental health. Workplaces can play their part.

 Te Whare tapa whā  (the four cornerstones)

  1. Taha Tinana (Physical health)

Workplaces can ensure they are contributing to good physical health in many ways.

  • Ensuring workstations are ergonomically sound
  • Encouraging microbreaks from repetitive actions
  • Monitoring and providing equipment for jobs that require heavy lifting
  • Encouraging healthy snacking and exercise
  • Discouraging excessive overtime and long working days
  1. Taha Wairua (Spiritual health)

Spiritual health is deeply personal; however, workplaces can provide a safe space for people to express themselves. Taha wairua provides a sense of meaning and purpose and connections to self, whānau, community, nature and the sacred. How can your workplace provide this for your staff? Consider:

  • Involvement in worthwhile community activity
  • Respect and space for religious and cultural beliefs
  1. Taha Whānau (family health)

Whānau means more than just immediate family, it describes the connections you can feel with people around you, your community, and your colleagues. Workplaces can be family friendly spaces that encourage strong teamwork and connection.

  • Provide flexibility for employees to participate in family occasions
  • Be understanding of commitments to extended family
  • Foster strong teamwork and connection at work
  1. Taha Hinengaro (mental and emotional health)

Workplaces are stressful places, added to the complexities of a global pandemic, economic factors, and life in general, it is the responsibility of every workplace to minimise the effect of that stress on their team.

  • Provide learning opportunities for staff to manage workload better
  • Monitor workloads to avoid stress and burnout
  • Provide consistency and certainty as much as is possible
  • Touch base with each staff member regularly to ensure they are coping

Whatever you use to drive your wellbeing programme it is important to have a holistic approach. Consider the many aspects of personal wellbeing and how your workplace can contribute.