• Julie Gillespie

Mental Wellbeing as a Strategic Initiative

When 87% of the 'best places to work' in Australia have a mental health program, executive leadership teams will need to sit up and pay attention to what their workers want this to 'look' like, to get it right. Making mental health a 'tick-n-flick' initiative is NOT the answer.


If you pride your business on having an EAP subscription, well, we need to have a chat. This is not a strategic view of worker wellbeing. Have you asked your people what they want? Luckily for us all, Super Friend do their annual workplace surveys that measure "Indicators of a Thriving Workplace".


Their 2021 Hot Topics on 'Workers reveal the best wellbeing initiatives' gives us some key pieces of knowledge:


From: SuperFriend Report 2021


What is Targeted Mental Health Support? It is the workplace providing mental health days, training through mental health workshops, and internal or external mental health support options such as counselling and employee assistance programs. It is a portfolio of care, not a single option that may not be suitable for every person.


It is also driven THROUGH the business, which starts with leaders focusing on worker wellbeing. Every time I train business leaders in Mental Health First Aid, I always hear how it's the best Leadership Development they've experienced. It is the fundamentals of how to be a compassionate human, especially in a professional environment.


The very fabric of a business strategy needs to not only dwell on performance, but on how the business is going to harness the power behind what drives it. And that, its workers' wellbeing in a positive workplace culture that is open and supportive.


What can your organisation do to be 'one of the best places to work'?


First, check with your workforce to see if you are one. Talk to them like what they have to say means more to you than what your clients have to say. Because, these are the people facing your clients everyday and influencing their behaviour - positively or negatively.


You can do a really quick survey that finds out how you are doing, specifically, and directly. Tracy Tully, in Episode #7, introduced us to the idea of a Traffic Light Feedback Form. It asks for feedback on things that are going wrong, where there needs to be course corrections, and what things can be celebrated.

Here's a great article on how to apply it.




Second, ensure you empower your workers with the resources to make changes where necessary. We looked at how people feel about change in Episode #5 of the Conversations with Julie Podcast. We came to really understand that we need to build relationships with our people, treat them lik e adults (not children), and provide opportunities to have choice in the work environment.





Last on this particular list, create a portfolio for mental wellbeing initiatives. The list of what to include in this is up top of this article. It's the perfect roadmap for starting conversations and building effective initiatives.


If you're stuck with this, or it seems like one more thing to add to your list, know that this is one of those projects external support can take on for you. Having a team of professionals lead the exploration, development, and deployment may bring you greater success.


I'm here to help. I have the team. I have your back. together we can build an effective business case to get this project up and running. Send me a quick email and we'll have a Conversation that can make a difference... supportjulie@gillespie.direct




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