Wellbeing is NOT a PR stunt

Mental Health

Dave’s organisation has a wellbeing policy. They are on it. They have Mental Health Champions, an Employee Assistance Programme and a whole section on the intranet about ‘sleep hygiene’, healthy eating, the office choir and cycling to work. 

But is it all just window dressing? Are we just papering over the cracks?

That same organisation wants Dave to do the job that 4 people used to do. He is forced to work the most anti-social shift pattern and be "Agile", working in different locations and on his own most of the time. Not to worry though. He’s had that half hour workshop on ‘Managing Stress in the Workplace’, so if he can’t cope, we’ve done our bit!

Dave would love to follow the ‘Top Ten Tips for Work Life Balance”, splashed all over the wellbeing page, but the demands of the job means he never sees his young family. His wife doesn’t much care for the “We develop our people” plaque on the reception wall either. After all, saying you care is one thing... meaning and showing it is another.

In our relentless pursuit of efficiency, productivity, customer satisfaction and reputation, I wonder if we've put the cart before the horse?

’Customers will never love a company unless the employees love it first.’  Simon Sinek

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Surely there’s more to ‘wellbeing’ than one-off lunchtime yoga workshops or articles about quinoa and coconut water on latest news?

Employees should be at the very heart of what an organisation does. The best companies in the world understand that by creating a culture of engagement and involving their people, especially in challenging times, they get the best from them. It is a journey rather than an event, and best of all… it’s ‘Win-Win.’

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About the Author

Terry is Director and Head of Training at Oakwood. He helps clients promote a proactive, rather than reactive approach to both personal safety and the positive mental health of their staff. He has over 12 years teaching experience in these areas, and advises organisations in the development of appropriate risk assessment and policy.