Dogs, walks and flex hours: Brokerage launches mental health program

Brisbane-based brokerage Home Loan Connexion (HLC) recently launched a Health and Wellness Program to focus on caring for the wellbeing of its people and to provide preventative measures and support for those struggling with mental or physical health issues.

“There is a strong business case for why addressing health and wellness in the workplace is imperative. Like all small businesses, we know that our team’s ability to do their job well reflects on our bottom line,” said Home Loan Connexion director Tracy Kearey in a statement.  

According to Kearey, HLC believes that “a more open and accepting culture helps build healthier workplaces”.

Research in Australia shows 51% of people left a job due to poor mental health conditions, while 40% stayed in a job longer because the culture and environment upheld good health.

Home Loan Connexion aims to free its workplace from the stigma connected with physical and mental health by developing a culture that doesn’t view mental health and wellbeing “through the lens of deficit and risk”. 

The program’s components involve volunteering, mentorship, training and education, counselling and flexible working hours. Here are just some of the novel ideas the brokerage has implemented:

Telephone counselling hotline
The brokerage encourages its staff to seek treatment and support when needed by contacting HLC’s resident physiologist and counsellor Zoe Slater. HLC subsidises initial consultations and support obtained via the service. 

Mind my business
HLC brokers who are unable to work for medical reasons and need a break can apply to have their clients and pipeline managed for up to 30 days.

Training course
The “Recognised, Respond, Refer Online Training Course” is a leading-edge, fully-funded training course that ensures staff are equipped to give quick, effective, and respectful responses when confronted with any form of domestic violence or financial abuse. The course aligns with the brokerage’s social responsibility charter.

Bring your dog to work
HLC supports the idea that dogs improve performance and boost social interaction in the workplace. The brokerage encourages its brokers and staff to schedule their pooch for a one-day office visit.

Walk’n’talk meeting
Meetings at HLC don’t always have to be inside the office or online. Its brokers can book a Walk’n’Talk meeting if they want to destress and catch up with HLC directors in an open space.

Volunteering program
HLC believes volunteering is beneficial to both mental and physical health. By running school programs such as “Money Tips for Students” and “TeenPreneur”, HLC brokers can have a personal sense of fulfilment while building social networks in communities. HLC also believes volunteer work helps ward off the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety.

Student mentoring
Working in partnership with children’s charity organisation, The Smith Family, HLC encourages its staff and brokers to participate in the iTrack Student Mentoring program. By using an online chat platform, iTrack mentors provide high school students in year 9 to 11 weekly advice and guidance about workplace, study, and career opportunities.       

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