Employee Wellbeing and Productivity

meeting in conference room

Regardless of which phase of the pandemic lifecycle we are in, an organisation’s people should be at the heart of its response strategy. The following are some key areas you should consider (and their corresponding pandemic lifecycle stage) to ensure continual functioning of your business without jeopardising the wellbeing of your employees.

Employee health and benefits

Businesses today not only compete for customers, they also compete for employees. Yet attracting, retaining, and maximising productivity of talent can be as challenging as building the business.

When New Zealand makes it through this pandemic and businesses impacted by COVID-19 start to re-build, there will be increased competition for talent across all industries.

The businesses that are most attractive to employees differentiate their people value proposition in many ways. Benefits can be a key part of this. Including an employee health and benefits offer that is tailored to the people they want to attract and retain and to lead in their industry or the talent pool they are targeting, can be a key value point that sets them apart.

Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) is a collaboration between Marsh and Mercer Consulting, which between them have more than 50 years’ experience in the employee benefits brokerage and consulting businesses. Together we represent one of the largest employee benefit consultancy and brokerage businesses in New Zealand.

The experienced MMB team can develop a bespoke Employee Benefits Program — with a single source for managing the associated costs, risks, and complexities.

The result? A collaborative-based approach providing a competitive benefits program that can better serve your employees, who in turn, help your business thrive in a competitive marketplace. MMB can also support clients by arranging:

  • Group Life, Disability and Income Protection Insurance
  • Private Health Insurance – Fully / part subsidised or Voluntary
  • Group Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance
  • International Health Insurance – For Expatriates and non-residents
  • International Student Insurance

Workplace social distancing infection strategies

Prior to COVID-19, social distancing was a term that most employers and employees had never heard of. Today, in absence of a vaccination, social distancing and good hygiene practices are the two main weapons in the fight against COVID-19.

Social distancing and infection reduction now also form part of an employer’s Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) Duty of Care, in that they must ensure adequate information, training, supervision and instruction around this control strategy to ensure the health and safety of the workforce.

For over 20 years, Wellnz (a business of Marsh Ltd)  has been able to co-ordinate customised WHS, Health Management and ACC claims management services to help individuals and employers.

Marsh can work with businesses to build pragmatic and tailored programs, and educate your workforce on social distancing and infection reduction strategies delivered through quality online training solutions.

Working from home strategies 

The world of work has changed dramatically as workplaces adjust to protect employees from the spread of COVID-19. Employers are shifting to work-from-home arrangements, with some testing these measures for the very first time.

Home has become the new workplace for many across New Zealand, and data tells us every effort needs to be made to help mitigate injury and help keep your employees healthy, safe and productive whilst working from home.

The Wellnz team can help businesses to:

  • Develop Working from Home (WFH) Policies and Procedures
  • Develop “home based” safety and ergonomic self-assessment checklists or review or update existing checklists to ensure they are appropriate and cover all risks
  • Provide assistance with Mental Wellbeing of staff working in isolation by undertaking Wellbeing calls
  • Conduct remote ergonomic assessments and coaching


A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Whether you have a legislative requirement to monitor your staff’s health or you are just looking to encourage a healthy work environment – Wellnz can create a solution to suit. 

The current COVID–19 situation lends itself to Wellnz being able to support the health and wellbeing of employees.

The following services can be provided:

  • GP Telehealth service provides clients with access to a network of GP’s with a single phone call. Calls are answered by the Wellnz team and a consultation guaranteed within 48 hours
  • Telehealth Occupational Physician Services enables access to some of New Zealand's leading workplace medical providers ensuring employers receive fast and accurate medical advice specific to your work situation
  • Influenza Voucher Vaccinations can be co-ordinated on behalf of employers ensuring all staff can have common flu vaccinations from one of 330 locations across New Zealand.

All of our programs can also be tailored to your industry, to ensure that they are relevant to the business environment your employees operate in. 

Mental health

Mental illness impacts 1 in 6 New Zealanders with many workplaces now recognising that keeping their employees safe at work doesn’t just mean physically but mentally as well.

The current COVID-19 situation is unprecedented, with many New Zealanders now concerned about both the health impacts and financial impacts of this pandemic. It is very likely that employees will be experiencing elevated levels of stress and anxiety, so it is critical to ensure that your managers, supervisors and employees understand mental health.

Wellnz can support your business with a variety of mental health and wellbeing services to help business leaders effectively manage mental health issues in the workplace. These include:

  • Specialised Mental Health Case Management Services
  • Wellbeing Calls to assess staffs needs
  • Reducing time to consult Psychiatrists/Psychologists from months to days
  • A national network of leading Mental Health providers

Return to work support

COVID-19 will have a material impact on many businesses in New Zealand, and that impact may be positive or negative. Some businesses, such as supermarkets and certain manufacturers will thrive, whilst others will be going through tough times. What is clear however is all New Zealand employers will be managing their way through a situation never before experienced, with employees that are uncertain around their future.

ACC fees will be minimised if employers can return their employees back to work in a timely manner. If they cannot return to their pre injury role then a new role with their existing employer must be identified or if this is not possible a new role with a new employer.

At Wellnz (a business of Marsh NZ Ltd), we understand the complexities that come with supporting and managing staff with injuries. With 20 years experience, we have the people and knowledge to assist employers to better manage their workplace injuries, non-work injuries, or serious illness absenteeism caused by issues such as cancer, cardiovascular or mental health illnesses.

Alpha (a business of Marsh NZ Ltd) provides customised vocational rehabilitation solutions, assessments, work trials, work ready and pre-employment programmes, graduated return to work assistance, placement services and in work support.

We are here for you

As COVID-19 continues to affect how we all do business and interact with one another, we are committed to continue to deliver timely and relevant information to our clients and broader community. If you have any questions or would like to have a conversation about the impact coronavirus is having on your business, please reach out to your Marsh representative, or email us here.

You can also follow us on LinkedIn to stay abreast on our latest updates. 

Download the Practical Guide to Returning People to the Workplace Safely

As the economy begins to reopen, how confident are you in your organization’s readiness for bringing people back to work? In this free guide, Marsh’s risk and safety professionals have drawn upon our extensive knowledge to identify immediate actions for your organization to consider as you prepare, implement, and manage a return to on-site work.

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