This week's PM Forum London event saw Liam Terry, Partner at Pinsent Masons, and Sarah Thum-Bonanno, Business Psychologist at The Wellbeing Project, take to stage to explore the topic of resilience and wellbeing within the workplace.
Combining Pinsent Masons' experience in devising The Mindful Business Charter, with practical tools and frameworks for developing workplace resilience, the presentations provided actionable insight which can be applied within any business.
Research from Deloitte (see below) highlights that wellbeing programmes are now emerging as a strategic priority at board-level, with room for further growth and investment on the horizon.
To be taken seriously when implementing a wellbeing initiative, as Liam explained, you have to make business leaders understand it is "not about people working less, it’s about people feeling in control over the work that they are doing".
The summary below reviews why workplace wellbeing needs to be on the agenda for employers and how you can start to implement change.
- Sustainable high-performance benefits both the organisation and individual
- Staff wellbeing is becoming strategically important for talent acquisition - candidates are looking for what businesses are doing to support workplace wellbeing
- The Stevenson Farmer Review recommends that the responsibility of care around mental health should sit with the employer
- Workplace wellbeing leads to better employee morale and engagement
- Lower sick days by 31%
- "Good stress" leads to positive performance; however, once you pass the pressure threshold employee performance goes from being optimal to rapidly declining
- Start by getting your employees to test their resilience gap (WRAR Index)
- Identify where your individuals can improve across the five pillars of resilience (energy, future focus, inner drive, flexible thinking, strong relationships) as these are skills that can be developed
- As an employer, discourage presenteeism - defined as the practice of being present at one's place of work for more hours than is required, especially as a manifestation of insecurity about one's job
- Achieving behavioural change has to be signed off at board-level, behaviours are top-down
- You have to talk about the situation at hand - do not avoid the topic, make wellbeing a line item in meetings
- Smart meetings and emails (only include the relevant people on an email chain - avoid overwhelming peoples' inboxes where possible)
- Respecting periods of rest - don't email someone on leave and expect a response
- Mindful delegation
- Be fair and inclusive
- Be mindful that everyone is learning in their role - think about feedback you give to people and how that could be interpreted
- It’s important to see employees/ colleagues as people both in and outside work - accept that you might not know what they are going through and be mindful of this
- Ensure your employees are spending time in their day within their comfort zone - this is important to maintain long-term energy levels
- Observe your chains of communication (including on the client-side) and work out if these are manufacturing unnecessary stress
- People need to have the opportunity to give their feedback and feel that they are in control
Well-being: A strategy and a responsibility 2018 Global Human Capital Trends (Deloitte) "It is our view that expanding well-being programs to encompass what employees want and value is now essential for organizations to treat their people responsibly—as well as to boost their social capital and project an attractive employment brand."