Changing workplace culture with a little pet-spiration – and it’s catching on

SMALL STEP: PETstock Ballarat's Amiee Whelan, Brad Scott, Warwick Dabner, Jessie Guilfoyle lace-up for a lunchtime hot lap on Tuesday.
SMALL STEP: PETstock Ballarat's Amiee Whelan, Brad Scott, Warwick Dabner, Jessie Guilfoyle lace-up for a lunchtime hot lap on Tuesday.

SQUAT o’clock and hot laps calls have PETstock teams downing their tools, tying up their pink laces and moving.

The Ballarat-born pet speciality retailer has implemented a health and well-being program for its 1800 team members, equipping each and every one with pink shoe laces, across Australia and New Zealand.

Fit for the Future is a six-week launch program that PETstock is keen to adapt across all sites in ongoing lifestyle changes.

There are even people attending mindfulness sessions that we didn't think would try it...We're pretty blown away

PETstock's Jess Guilfoyle

Already, three weeks in, the organisation has one employee declared smoke free for 16 days and Kiwi teams adding in a no fizz policy, wiping out soft drinks.

PETstock spokesperson Jess Guilfoyle said the Ballarat head office had been “blown away” with how each team had adapted the campaign, making it better than they had imagined.

But the underlying purpose was the same.

“We’re looking to improve the health and well-being across the company,” Ms Guilfoyle said. “There are different types of exercises and physical demands in our stores, like a lot of lifting, and their mental well-being needs might be different too, to here (head office).

“...There are even people attending mindfulness sessions that we didn’t think would try it or like it. We’re pretty blown away.”

Olympian Steve Moneghetti is providing motivation via video updates and training programs as Fit for the Future ambassador.

Fit Stars team members are spread across the company to help drive positive active behaviour.

Teams are sharing their images on social media and on internal communication channels for #Petspiration.

Even if it may be getting cold in Ballarat, Ms Guilfoyle said temperatures were cooler in New Zealand and the images coming in from their coast lines were incredible and inspirational.

Head office, on Lydiard Street, has also extended an invitation to other businesses to join their daily walks and help foster a more active culture across the community.

PETstock managing director David Young said the decision to run this program was easy.

“We care about our people which means we care about the health and well-being of them and their families,” Mr Young said.

“We also recognise that it’s a chance for the entire family, including their pets, to get out and exercise together. It’s also no secret that having pets around helps with mental well-being.”

PETstock, founded by Ballarat’s Young family, now has more than 140 stores.