How can organisations create more meaningful impact with their approach to employee wellbeing? In a recent Culture Pioneers virtual roundtable discussion, we explored the importance of creating safe spaces, the misguided use of wellbeing technology, and the need for a more conscious approach to leadership.
Nurturing a culture that puts wellbeing front and centre of your business’ values, policies, processes and strategies demands a nuanced approach that is unique to each and every organisation. It requires the business to consider wellbeing in every action it takes, in every process and design. This may feel like a near impossible task, so how can you ensure you’re heading in the right direction?
In this virtual roundtable discussion, recorded in March 2021, HRZone’s Editor Becky Norman was joined by three individuals who are successfully spearheading change in the wellbeing space.
Two of the panelists were specifically recognised for their employee wellbeing accomplishments in HRZone’s ‘Culture Pioneers’ programme last year, an initiative that showcased and celebrated the achievements of people professionals delivering positive culture change.
These leaders are Natasha Wallace, Formerly Chief Consciousness Officer at Clear Review and Emma Govus, Global Benefits Manager at Aveva. They were also joined by award-winning psychologist and Culture Pioneers ambassador Gethin Nadin, who was part of the judging panel responsible for reviewing and selecting the successful inaugural Culture Pioneers.
In this virtual roundtable, we explored
How to create psychologically safe spaces and put the power in the hands of the employee
The importance of taking an evidence-based approach rather than just purchasing a piece of tech to solve the problem
The need to consider cultural differences across global organisations
The concept of conscious leadership and how it impacts wellbeing
You can't purchase an off-the-shelf solution to wellbeing
Employee wellbeing is arguably the biggest concern for business and HR leaders to address in the current climate, but the solution is not as simple as investing in a new piece of wellbeing tech or booking in some sporadic ‘lunch and learns’ on managing mental ill health or financial worries. “You can't purchase a solution to solve your wellbeing”, Emma Govus highlighted in the discussion.
Expanding on this point Natasha Wallace highlighted “Often people think wellbeing is an app or it’s having good wellbeing benefits in place. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the conversations we have, it’s the way we treat each other, it’s the way we behave, it’s the way we show up, it’s the freedoms we’re given at work.” This is why achieving a notable impact for both employees and the business involves a cultural approach to wellbeing, with leaders driving the change.
A phrase that kept coming up throughout the discussion was ‘creating safe spaces’. Without employees feeling like they can share their true feelings and concerns, progress will never be made. “If someone is taking that courage and coming out of their comfort zone and they are saying they’re needing help. We need to listen. We need to listen and take it seriously,” Govus stated.
Another important point raised was on the issue of burnout, specifically around how employers often expect employees to address the problem, when the responsibility should really be in the hands of the organisation. “Burnout is often the result of the way organisations are designed, rather than it being the behaviours of individuals,” stated Gethin Nadin. “Yet we normally look to the individual to fix the issue, when it’s the organisation that's causing the problem and therefore also needs to solve the problem.”
Are you and/or your team helping to cultivate a culture of wellbeing in your company? Enter the wellbeing category for this year’s Culture Pioneers Awards for absolutely free between 4th May and 23rd July 2021.
Becky is Managing Editor of HRZone and Trainingzone, global online communities of people working in the HR and L&D industries. Becky works closely with leading HR and L&D practitioners and decision makers to ensure the publications offer a rich source of real-world insight and fresh advice to their audience.
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