We were proud to be part of MadWorld, the high-profile workplace wellbeing event which took place last week in London. 

We shared insights on the current state of the workplace and provided guidance on how to best manage challenges like hybrid working and engaging people managers to champion mental health support.

We welcomed two great speakers to our enabling people managers in the post pandemic workplace workshop: Tracey Paxton from The Employee Resilience Company and Beth Samson, Organisational Development and People Lead from Investors In People.

The MadWorld mission in the content director’s words is ‘to accelerate the shift from stigma to solutions by ensuring every employer – large, medium and small – has the insights, inspiration and contacts they need to make a difference to workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing.’

Here’s a few highlights of what they discussed.

The Reservoir of Wellbeing.

We like to think of psychological and physical wellbeing as the water in a reservoir. Wellbeing is dynamic – it is constantly being drained and topped up in various ways. Life events such as the pandemic/ relationship breakdowns, changes in job role/ location, can be a drain in your reservoir of wellbeing and be the cracks in the dam.

  • Poor communication, feeling isolated, lack of training, lack of supervision and support – these can all drain employee psychological wellbeing.
  • It is not possible to design the perfect work or living environment where there aren’t any sources that may drain our wellbeing.
  • The aim is to get the balance right between inflow and outflow.
  • It is important to work proactively to repair the cracks in the dam and avoid long term exposure to stressful situations as much as possible.
  • It is important that employers recognize and implement positive sourced that enable employee reservoirs to be topped up. Both employees and managers are responsible for keeping the reservoir topped up.
  • Unlike pressure, stress is never a good thing.
  • Keeping the reservoir topped up enables us to respond more positively to challenges and setbacks.

“Managers should be role models for wellbeing. Managers need to model the type of behaviour that’s good for people’s health, for their productivity, for their performance. Behaviour that says I’m going to do the important things that I need to do, I’m going to be really committed and be highly productive, but I’m also going to have an outside life because that refreshes me to come in and do more the following day.”

The shift to a proactive stance

With all of this in mind, we talked about the importance of moving towards a proactive stance when it comes to tackling mental ill health

It’s a case of seriously reconsidering how we focus resources: historically 80% of time is spent on crisis or reacting and 20% on remaining well in the workplace. We need to flip this investment.

We first need to reflect on our organisational culture around mental health. The number one priority is to tackle stigma about mental ill-health in the workplace and create a psychologically safe culture of openness.

Regular communication from senior leaders to reinforce the importance of staff wellbeing is without doubt one of the most effective and powerful ways to shift the culture.

Helping people managers develop human skills
Any time there’s more than one employee in a business there is going to be conflict. Supporting your managers to develop strong human skills such as active listening and how to have difficult conversations is key to leading an effective and productive workforce.

If you’d like to join us on our mission, then get in touch to talk about how we can help. We’ll be continuing to share insights and highlights from MadWorld across our social channels and why not take a look at our new range of expert training and consultancy courses that we can deliver to you and your managers – either virtually or in-person – to help you build a mentally healthy workplace.