Workplace wellbeing - Shifting the dial in a Covid-era

Wednesday 8th September 2021 

During the past 18 months, employee resilience has been tested like never before and there is increasing demand to cope with mounting pressure. Whether 'WFH' or on the 'frontline', the future of work looks very different today than it used it. 

A recent article in The Guardian describes the problem with 'WFH' well, talking about the concept of ‘Too much invisibility’. “Employers are in danger of losing oversight of the mental health and capacity of their employees… people are literally turning off their cameras in meetings to try to hide what’s going on, they’re trying to absorb the stresses…” 

When it comes to 'essential' or 'frontline' workers - the same often applies, with less opportunity to scaffold them with face-to-face support or to connect 'in real life'.

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Find out how you could leverage a snackable learning approach within your organisation.

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Get our ‘plug and play’ wellbeing program by The Flourishing Institute for your people from just $0.95c* per employee per month (excl. GST).

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Webinar: Helping your people through ongoing lockdowns

“What we used to do is no longer ‘good enough’ when it comes to creating an environment for employees to thrive,” believes Jane Davis,  Founder and Director of The Flourishing Institute. Jane has made a career of helping organisations create resilient and agile workforces. With over 25 years of consulting and in-house experience in the private and public sectors, we caught up with her recently for a webinar to uncover:

  1. What’s changed? »
  2. Important principles for anyone tasked with managing workplace wellbeing »
  3. Important fundamentals of workplace wellbeing »
  4. What smart companies are doing to shift the dial »
  5. How to get cut-through for your workplace wellbeing messaging »

Above: Watch the full webinar!


What's changed?

The three F’s no longer cut-it!

Organisations are realising that their standard offerings around wellbeing (the popular ‘three Fs of wellbeing’ - fruit, fitness, and flu shots) – simply don’t cut it anymore, because wellness isn’t a ‘one and done’ conversation. It needs to be ongoing.

Organisations are realising wellbeing can shift

We’re also starting to realise that a lot of people struggle at different times; different triggers can upset them,  lockdown (for Covid) being a major trigger for many.

We’re dealing with the most distracted workforce in history!

Emails, texts, group chats – all this noise presents a real challenge to organisations wanting to focus on workplace wellbeing. We’re going to have to ‘interrupt’ employees, continuously, if we want traction. 

“An unfortunate example of how fast this shift can happen was the recent tragedy of 24-year-old Olivia Podmore, a cyclist who represented New Zealand at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Olivia presented as high performing, yet under all of that, there was an undercurrent that no-one recognised or knew about. Her struggle is a wakeup call for all of us,” explains Jane.


Important principles for anyone tasked with managing workplace wellbeing

“Knowing what we do, the danger is for leaders to want to solve it all…and solve it now. But this places undue pressure on anyone wanting to improve workplace wellbeing in a sustainable way,” believes Jane. This is where three key principles come into play:

Scared people become scary people

In the first instance, the most powerful thing you can do is to reassure people – about their role; and about the company’s position. Fear of the unknown is rippling, and so open, honest communication is critical.



You don’t need all the answers

You simply need to consistently point people to where they can get the answers. There are powerful resources and tools out there – and you don’t have to ‘go it alone’ when designing a wellbeing program.

Role modelling is key

It’s vital that as leaders, we show people that it’s OK to not be OK. Leading by example by scheduling ‘away time’ or even meeting-free periods of time is one of the best ways in which we can support our people, because people will do what you do, not what you say.



Important fundamentals of workplace wellbeing

These guiding principles are a useful foundation before you set out to implement a workplace wellbeing program:

Workplace wellbeing should be for everyone

“When it comes to mental wellbeing, organisations traditionally invest in those who are in offices or in their large centres (‘head office’) – while the rest miss out!

There is a trend now to be inclusive – as opposed to exclusive. Technology has made it easy to include people nowadays and to be flexible in how we offer help.

Ask yourself – how can I include everyone?” explains Jane.

Take a holistic approach

Smart organisations are also going wider with their approach to wellbeing than ‘just’ their workforce.

“There’s a tendency now to also influence an employee’s wider circle  – their family members for instance – because there’s recognition that every team member’s wellbeing extends far beyond themselves.

I’m seeing workplaces offer sessions for families, or seeing them extend support to the other parent at home dealing with kids…” says Jane.

A move away from ‘one off’ interventions

“Quite often, organisations will get in a popular speaker for what I call a big bang day – which is great – but we also need to think about the ‘and then what?’…” cautions Jane.

We need to provide our people with simple, practical content – tools and strategies they can use on an on-going basis.

This is where The Flourishing Institute’s sweet spot is! Find out more »


What smart companies are doing to shift the dial

The great news is - you don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to workplace wellbeing. There are material and sites out there that you can proactively remind your employees about on an ongoing basis; or even use to upskill yourself. Some free resources recommended during the webinar include:

Mental Health Foundation NZ
Their collection of FREE online resources includes powerful workplace, personal and leadership resources.

Depression.org.nz
A great site to point to if anyone in your team is struggling with their mental wellbeing

Wellplace.nz
Offers great FREE resources for building a healthy workplace, including coping with Covid19.

Some additional, practical actions you can take include:


Can you repeat that?

Having designed a sensible, sustainable approach to workplace wellbeing – a major road-block many companies face is getting ongoing cut-through for workplace wellbeing messaging.

“There is no doubt that workshops are great vehicles for providing experiential learning in a group learning environment, but the challenge lies in our ability to retain that information over time,” comments Vibe.fyi CEO and Founder, Vaughan Reed.

When it comes to influencing long term behaviour change, key messages need to be seen 17 times, using spaced repetition (where you space out the frequency of the message over time, rather than just displaying a message on repeat, which actually has the reverse effect).  

“When you consider the tools most organisations rely on to embed programs into the workplace, getting this level of repetition is nigh impossible. Imagine sending the same email or reposting the same message to Facebook Workplace or MS Teams 7 or 8 times, let alone 17 times. It will not only infuriate everyone, including the person having to send it, but it will clutter the tool,” explains Vaughan.

Snackable learning – the key to retention

The Flourishing Institute has partnered with Vibe.fyi on a number of industry-leading programs that make it possible to deploy workplace wellbeing programs ‘at the touch of a button’ to screens throughout organisations using a ‘snackable’ learning strategy.

Snackable Learning blends the best parts of microlearning (the delivery of short bursts of bite size content) and nudge Learning (the positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to influence behaviour). This stye of learning combat the natural tendency for people to forget what they’ve learnt.

“We take the key learnings from a workshop and deliver those throughout the workplace in a highly visual and engaging format; with the level of frequency required to embed long term learning,” says Vaughan.

The program is available across:


Need help shifting the dial?


Start today, with a FREE consultation

Find out how you could leverage a snackable learning approach within your organisation.

Book a free
Consultation
Book a free Consultation


Launch a 12-month wellbeing program in days

Get our ‘plug and play’ wellbeing program by The Flourishing Institute for your people from just $0.95c* per employee per month (excl. GST).

Book a FREE
45min Demo
Book a FREE 45min Demo


*Contact us for full pricing details.