And just like that, Wellbeing@Work Sydney 2019 is over!
It was a fantastic day full of sharing, learning, connecting and thinking. Research shows that work, what you do every day, has the most significant impact on a person’s wellbeing and performance, so creating healthier workplaces is a key priority for us as we travel into the Future of Work.
There were many insights shared throughout the day, here are just a few of the things that I took away:
- Focus on yourself as an individual first. Wellbeing starts with the individual. You can’t create a healthy team if you as an individual aren’t healthy on the inside.
- ‘Poor Gut Health is the single biggest health issue confronting Australia today’ was the rally cry from Peter Dingle who encouraged us to eat more fibre and take probiotics. According to research, for every $1 invested in gut health, you will get $50 return in investment. Providing employees with access to better quality food through great offerings like Morsl will pay back significantly in productivity over time.
- What gets measured, gets managed. Whilst most businesses measure economic data, Claire de Carteret from Gallup highlighted that Wellbeing Data is a good lead indicator for a pending ‘culture crisis’. But how do you track wellbeing data? Our partner, Workscore can help you here.
- Whilst senior leadership may understand the importance of wellbeing, the message may get lost as many middle managers aren’t yet sufficiently skilled and supported in dealing with people issues. Gallup’s new book, It’s the Manager, can help here.
- Emotional Intelligence (EI) was highlighted as a very important skill to develop, with the World Economic Forum’s top 10 dimensions all linked to EI.
- Whilst most businesses have mastered ‘physical safety’ within workplaces, a huge focus now is on Psychological safety, a relatively new concept that is gathering interest and momentum in our knowledge-based economy.
- Sue Langley from The Langley Group did a brilliant job of unpicking the commonly quoted ‘1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness’ and encouraged us to think about the other 3 in 4, many of whom are ‘languishers’ who are unsupported and at risk.
- Leading companies like: Adobe, Salesforce, GSK, DocuSign, Serco, Citibank and ABN AMRO shared some great insights on the practical things that employers are doing to support their teams’ wellbeing. Some things are ‘cheap’ to execute, but do require effort in encouraging behaviour change and include:
- encouraging recognition
- tracking the number of development meetings with supervisors that take place
- tapping into internal people who are passionate about wellbeing and enabling them to drive progress
Other things require business cases and financial investment such as:
- providing access to specialist providers
- investing in technology to enable and promote flexibility
- supporting people with better tools to do deeper work without distractions.
- Over and above the wellbeing initiatives in place, what comes out of the Workscore Data very clearly is that any investment in employee wellbeing is a strong indicator that an organisation genuinely cares about it’s people, and this perception drives engagement, retention and advocacy.
- Finally, don’t assume everyone understands what impacts wellbeing, there’s a big education job to do tp help leaders, managers and individual contributors understand the critical importance of sustainable wellbeing.
In summary, workplaces today are very different to how they were when I started working more than 25 years ago. The physical environment, tools available, channels to market and customer demands are all very different.
But underneath all of this change and transformation, are people who are essentially exactly the same as they always were. People who need to feel supported physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially and financially, and when this support is in place, creativity, innovation and growth flourish.
We’re living in a time when the data shows that 87% of people are not engaged in their work. Wherever you are in the world, this number isn’t that different.
But there is good news and hope. The good news is that embedded in every organisation are people who can see the issues, want to make a difference but lack the belief that they have the capabilities, resources and tools to have impact. And that’s what Wellbeing@Work is all about.
With in-person events now taking place in 11 cities around the world, an active website and social platforms, our goal is simply to help people who want to make a difference, make that difference through the power of education and connection. Research through my own life experience has taught me that anything is possible if you connect with like-minded people and work together for the good of the whole.
Change starts with a simple decision. A decision that the status quo isn’t acceptable and that the future will be better than the past.
A huge thank you to the team, led by Heather Mitchell.
The Wellbeing@Work Sydney programme was the result an enormous amount of effort by a lot of people based around the world. A massive thank you to our chair for the day, Cindy Lenferna de la Motte, our speakers: Brian Heyworth, Berkely Cox, Michael Ferguson, Luke Baylis, Audrey McGibbon, Sue Langley, Timo Topp, Kathleen Francis, Adam Jadresic, Oier Ruiz Trevino, Andy Thiss, Claire de Carteret, Rob Stephenson, Anuraj Gambhir, Steve Griffith, Sean Hall, Karla Borland, Mandy Millan, Wade Needham, Geraldine King, Gary John-Baptiste, Julia Morris, Greg Jennings, Chibs Okereke, Peter Dingle, Natialie Yan-Chatonsky, David Pointon, Camille Wilson
Thanks to our partners: Bell Training Group, Bounce, Crew Mojo, Flo Wellbeing, Future of Work Insights, GLWS, Gnibl, Honest Harvest, Inner Origin, Langley Group, Morsl, Movi, Raw Energy, Sumo Salad, Singularity University, Sisu Health, Rumpus, Timo Topp, WayAhead and Workscore.
Thanks to our crew lead by Heather Mitchell.
Wellbeing@Work is an event platform that now runs in 11 cities around the world. I head up the APAC division with events in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong where we run annual conferences in Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong and quarterly meet ups around Australia. Please get in touch if you’d like to be part of the future: Lawrence@getrawenergy.co.