Workplace Wellbeing

A moral responsibility. And an operational must.

A culture that supports positive mental health and wellbeing is absolutely essential for business, now more than ever. Given the stressful and turbulent environment businesses operate in, it’s obvious that the workforce’s mental health will continue to be impacted.

As a result employee wellbeing should be a priority in any business, regardless of your sector. And the idea should be to make wellbeing an integral habit, not just a “tick box” activity.

A holistic wellbeing strategy seeks to bolster employees’ mental, physical and financial wellbeing on a proactive, and ongoing basis.

Be Well. Work Well.

Wellbeing impacts individual performance, as well as overall team performance and commitment, either positively or negatively. Employees who feel they are being looked after, are happier and more satisfied with their job and their workplace, and those happy employees are more intrinsically motivated, leading to higher productivity and loyalty to their business.

Aon’s ‘Mental Health Crisis’ report, suggests 88% of workers expect their employer to support mental wellbeing in the workplace.

So this isn’t just a nice to have, it is a need to have, and business leaders should understand what it takes to foster a positive workplace that encourages team wellbeing and a healthy work-life balance.

What’s more, your employees need to feel empowered to proactively manage their own wellbeing, so it becomes a way of life.

Inclusivity and accessibility play a massive role in workplace wellbeing. Inclusive wellbeing initiatives means recognising potential barriers for individuals within the team and adjusting support accordingly.

To create wellbeing equity, it means leaders need to educate themselves on:

  • potential barriers, this could include; additional pressures on mental health for those in marginalised groups, limited education on certain topics, lack of cultural intelligence, mental health stigma, the leader’s not being aware of their biases, inaccessibility to mental health support.
  • talking to individuals to find out how they can best support them, this could include; building rapport, taking the time to have conversations about life outside of work, starting conversations around mental wellbeing, avoiding toxic positivity, asking questions and using empathic listening.
  • adapting wellbeing initiatives accordingly, this could include; necessary accommodations put in place to ensure equity, not enforcing presenteeism, not needing to have a camera turned on for a video call, offering flexible working hours, including DEIA training in wellbeing strategies.
Person with cat sat on their lap, working at a laptop in a home environment.
Small, practical things can make a huge difference to mental health at work, e.g. working with a pet. ID: Person with cat sat on their lap, working at a laptop in a home environment.

Important now. Essential for the future.

Workplace wellbeing should be implemented with a holistic approach, rather than a couple of ‘nice to have’ incentives, to make real change and get ‘buy-in’ from employees. Employees need an environment psychologically safe enough to be able share when they need support, so practising inclusivity and encouraging connection is important.

To create psychological safety there needs to be flexibility to suit individual needs, some elements to consider are:

  • working hours
  • hybrid working
  • time off to get support
  • adapting environments in the workplace
  • challenging negative behaviours
  • giving autonomy
  • flexing communication styles
  • encouraging contribution and embracing idea sharing
  • adapting on how you praise and/or recognise to suit the individual
  • different types of social events

Leaders should be ‘leading’ and setting the example when it comes to looking after their own wellbeing, as this creates trust and gives others the confidence to follow suit.

Person sat with a child on an armchair, reading a story in a home environment.
Small, practical things can make a huge difference to mental health at work, e.g. being able to take time to be present with children. ID: Person sat with a child on an armchair, reading a story in a home environment.

Mental Health First Aiders

One important part of supporting mental health at work is equipping your organisation with Mental Health First Aiders.

It isn’t just a reactive measure to help look after your teams’ wellbeing right now, it plays an important role in being proactive toward your teams’ happiness at work, and a vital step in creating an open and positive mental health culture within your workforce.

Having mental health champions helps to:

  • reduce stigma
  • normalise the conversation around mental health and wellness
  • encourage employees to, if necessary, get further support
  • build a resilient mindset in your team

Resilience, which is rapidly becoming an essential modern life-skill, is not about ‘keep calm and carry on’. It’s taking the time to educate and encourage employees to explore their own resilience so they can notice any areas of opportunity and have tools to be able to support themselves.

Arming your people with the right tools and knowledge to be resilient, deal with change, stay positive and focussed, understand their emotions and look after their own mental health, is the first step to a healthy and happy workforce. It will also translate to improved performance for your business, so it’s not just the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.

Person sat mediating in front of a window in a home environment.
Small, practical things can make a huge difference to mental health at work, e.g. taking a moment to pause and breathe. ID: Person sat mediating in front of a window in a home environment.

It starts with a conversation.

If you are a leader of a team, or business in general, then you should consider asking your employees how healthy their workplace wellbeing is.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are five to open the conversation:

  1. Are you happy with the way/how regularly I communicate with you?
  2. Have you had enough time recently, to do the things you enjoy and that make you feel happy?
  3. Is there anything I can do to make your working week easier?
  4. If you make a mistake, do you feel comfortable telling me?
  5. And last but not least, “How are you?”. But don’t accept a standard “good”, “ok” or “fine” answer. Ask twice, so they understand that you really want to know!

In summary, it’s about being human. It’s about getting to know your team members as individuals; what makes them tick, how they like to work, and you showing your human side, leading with empathy and understanding.

Workplace wellbeing is more than just updating your company values to include psychological safety, inclusivity or a positive mental health culture. It’s all about the actions and behaviours of individuals that bring your values to life.

People sat in a circle, listening to one person speaking, in an office environment.
Small, practical things can make a huge difference to mental health at work, e.g. feeling like they can have voice heard. ID: People sat in a circle, listening to one person speaking, in an office environment.

Ready to make a difference?

Shifting an organisational culture takes time and a good dose of expertise. You can count on us to support you whatever your needs. Get in touch today and our expert consultants will talk things through with you, understand your business challenges and make recommendations for what’s right for you.

We’ll work with you to shift your culture for the better, whether that’s a small shift in a team’s understanding of inclusion or wellbeing, or a more substantial shift across a large organisation, we’ve done it all!

We also offer organisational courses and open courses on mental health first aid, so whether you want to get a group of people qualified, or just a few we can cater to your needs and support you on your journey.

Person sat on a bench, reading a book, in a park under a tree.
Small, practical things can make a huge difference to mental health at work, e.g. taking a moment to enjoy the outdoors. ID: Person sat on a bench, reading a book, in a park under a tree.

The 4Ps of Candid Conversations

eLearning

The “Four Ps” model can help us to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial
  • Understand how to use the 4Ps to deliver a difficult message
  • Consider how this can help manage under-performance in a structured manner

Assertive Disagreement

eLearning

When you disagree with someone, it is often best to be direct and clear, as it avoids an unfortunate misunderstanding. People can shy away from disagreement as it can sometimes feel confrontational. The assertive approach introduced in this module helps you to express your disagreement in a professional, constructive manner.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn what assertiveness is
  • Learn a process to put your case across without getting emotional
  • Provide context for how to use the model in a real-world environment

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument

eLearning

Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. This self-test assessment will tell you more about your predominant style of handling conflict and what this means.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a starting point for your development
  • Identify your conflict handling style
  • Learn about the five conflict handling modes

AID Feedback Model

eLearning

Providing feedback that encourages open dialogue and communication enhances your credibility as both a teammate and as a leader. AID is a simple feedback model that can be used for positive moments and those that need corrective action.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn a simple model for providing feedback
  • Identify your own role in each of the stages
  • Discover the benefits of creating a feedback culture

Action-Centred Leadership

eLearning

Good managers and leaders should have full command of the three main areas of the Action-Centred Leadership model and should use each of the elements according to the situation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover John Adair’s action-centred leadership model
  • Learn how to adapt the model for your own work situation
  • Investigate the danger of becoming out of balance

Question Types

eLearning

Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange. Using the right questions can improve a whole range of communication skills; the information we receive back (the answer) will depend very much on the type of question we ask.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn why asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange
  • Discover why the right questions in a particular situation can improve a whole range of communication skills

Dr. Mehrabian’s Communication Model

eLearning

We are always communicating, even when we are not speaking. Other factors communicate what we really think and feel, which can be explained by looking at Albert Mehrabian’s communication model.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the impact of mixed messages when communicating
  • Understand that communication is a blend of words, body language and tone

Situational Leadership

eLearning

Leaders need to tailor their approach based on the person they are coaching, their experience at the task and their level of enthusiasm for completing it.

The ability to adapt your leadership style to cater to different tasks and your people’s needs is called situational leadership.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model
  • Recognise directive and supportive behaviours
  • Understand the four leadership styles in line with situational leadership
  • Understand the development levels of team members, based on competence and commitment
  • Become confident with flexing your leadership style to the individual and the situation