Our wellbeing panel session at our Workforce conference brought together a panel of experts (Mark McLane, Richard Martin, Natasha Wallace and Prad Velayuthan) to talk about their perspectives on wellbeing, which proved a very engaging and interesting panel session. Our panellists shared the view that we needed to get out of the mind-set of thinking that the more people are in the office, the more productive we are, and how we all need to focus on our own wellbeing and purpose as well as empowering others to help us with improving wellbeing at work. Our key takeaways from our experts were:
- Prad Velayuthan discussed his experience as an NHS GP and how working on the front line he sees first-hand the problems that his patients face in relation to mental health and how there is an epidemic of stress in this country. Prad highlighted the particular problem of presenteeism and how we need to understand this growing problem: “It’s not just about ticking the box and saying you have a GP in house or a virtual GP”.
- Natasha Wallace referred to her role as a Chief Consciousness officer at work, which includes coaching the entire team, checking in with them each month and having a positive psychology of building towards individual strengths and goals. Natasha commented that “wellbeing isn’t just about trusting people to work flexibly, it’s about creating an environment that enables them to get their work done well and to grow.” Read more about the insights Natasha had.
- Mark McLane shared with us his perspective that wellbeing shouldn’t be a strategy in an organisation – “it should be a philosophy”. Mark emphasised how a long term view needed to be taken with embedding new policies successfully in an organisation rather than having a “launch and leave it” approach.
- Richard Martin raised that we need to be self-aware and encourage openness within the organisation: “That sense of individual purpose, and how that mirrors with organisational purpose, is critical I think”; “For too long, we’ve encouraged people to leave their humanity at the door to the workplace’ and ‘Bringing in someone that staff can speak to has been one of the most effective ways I have seen that has positively impacted mental wellbeing.”