What are employees’ holistic needs? We can break these down into three health categories: physical, social and mental. Physically, people need healthy food, sufficient sleep and exercise.
It’s no secret that employee well being drives productivity. But what do we mean when we say ‘well being’? It’s when employees feel physically healthy, they are mentally stable, and their social life is supportive and enriching. So, in order for your mining workforce to operate at their peak, it’s not enough to provide the basic needs. You need a holistic approach to caring for them.
There are a range of challenges in maintaining a healthy, happy and engaged remote mining workforce. When it comes to physical health, food is a major factor. It can sometimes be a challenge to find the right balance between meeting nutritional needs and delivering delicious meals people actually want to eat, at an affordable cost to the business. That’s why poor-quality food and a limited variety of options on the menu is such a common problem. So too are badly designed menus that fail to meet the nutritional needs to keep employees functioning well on the job.
Alongside food, quality of sleep and opportunities to exercise also affect employee health. If any of these areas are lacking, you’ll experience increased incidence of sick days, accidents and obesity.
When it comes to mental health, if there are limited chances to connect socially, workers end up feeling isolated. Staff can commonly burnout without sufficient mental health and social support. All of these factors ultimately result in remote mining companies experiencing higher staff turnover and the associated costs to business.
Quality food delivery is vital. If a remote site’s workforce isn’t receiving enough nutrient-dense foods, it has a detrimental effect on their immune systems and other aspects of physical and mental health*. Providing chef and nutritionist designed menus that are seasonally updated is key to solving the problem. Seasonally updated menus allow you to capitalise on cheaper, in-season produce that’s also going to taste great. Nutritionally balanced, healthy meals that deliver sustained energy keep your remote mining workforce operating safely and productively throughout their shifts.
When it comes to meeting the social and mental health needs of your workers, mealtimes also offer a great opportunity to socialise. Modern camps are now looking at more ways to enrich employees’ experience and alleviate the feelings of isolation many remote workers experience. One of the best solutions is to provide a site activity calendar of social, sporting and special events. Sporting events further support physical health while also being good for mental and social well being. Social and special events help people to unwind, connect with others and feel supported.
Remote mine operators are also discovering ways in which employees’ mental health can be better supported and stigma about seeking help can be removed. It’s vital to ensure mental health services are not only available but are also well publicised. Normalise help-seeking behaviour and provide information on warning signs so people know when they should be seeking help.
Clean, well maintained facilities that feel like home. The modern remote mining workforce expects a high level of comfort and cleanliness. This supports their physical health, mental well being and can even improve quality of sleep.
Find out more in our latest eBook, and discover how you can help keep your employees happy, healthy, and supported.
*Source: Food & Mood Centre. (2016).