HR professionals are likely to be mulling over the most effective ways to cultivate a culture where colleagues’ mental wellbeing is at the heart of corporate life. It’s certainly something we at Mercer have spent much time thinking about. Of course there are no instant fixes in this kind of transformation, but we’ve come up with five areas to focus on.

  1. First, leading from the top is a must. Ensure senior managers and executive directors are genuinely on board with this cultural shift - and getting the message out, in deed as well as word. If line managers are seen to be taking time for exercise, or talking about improving work/life balance, their teams have ‘permission’ to follow that example.

  3. Managers need help to develop the emotional intelligence they need in supporting their teams, so it’s equally important to train and nurture them in employee wellbeing and people skills as a core competency, with regular one-to-one performance and development sessions in place.

  5. Thirdly, this may be about improving quality of life for staff, but make sure it is data-driven and rooted in reality. That means monitoring statistics from health dashboards - on absence or health insurance claims, for instance – so you can demonstrate the impact of wellbeing initiatives. You can strengthen your findings with qualitative feedback from employee questionnaires or focus groups.

  7. Keep your eye on the ball. Any wellbeing strategy will disintegrate over time if it’s viewed within the organisation as an optional extra, so establish a high-profile wellbeing ‘brand’ that can be built into every business objective.

  9. Finally, the bottom line is that regular monitoring and evaluation puts you in a great position to produce strong, data-driven reports for the board - and to make more public commitments to workforce wellbeing as well. It all helps create not just a more resilient, more productive workforce, but a virtuous circle of best practice.


Our expert

Dr Wolfgang Seidl

Dr Wolfgang Seidl

Partner, Leader of Workplace Health Consulting UK and Europe, Mercer Marsh Benefits

Wolfgang is a doctor of medicine and leads Mercer’s Workplace Health Solutions. He advises companies on health and wellbeing strategies, integrated models of healthcare and proactive interventions.

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