‘Wellbeing more than fruit on tables and exercise’
Dr Judith Grant, Associate Director, Health and Wellbeing at Mace has urged firms to approach wellbeing as “more than fruit on tables and exercise” and as a “strategic endeavour [that comes] from the top of an organisation.”
Speaking at last month’s Safety and Health Expo, Grant admitted that integrating wellbeing into an organisation can be complex and has to tie-in with a company’s strategic outlook. “I often see my job as a bit of a sales role,” she said. “To move the conversation on, to move wellbeing forward you really have to sell the business benefits.”
Grant who joined Mace 16 months ago was initially given time with the international consultancy and construction company’s board of directors to establish where each sat on the wellbeing agenda. It allowed her to produce a common understanding of what wellbeing actually meant to them.
“I know what wellbeing means to me and each of you probably has a different definition to me, she explained to delegates. “And that’s why it is quite challenging to manage in organisations because it is so subjective.”
Following the board meeting, and as part of Mace’s inaugural wellbeing week in November, Grant was able to engage with the international consultancy and construction company’s global workforce by conducting the first of an annual health and wellbeing survey.
Approximately 4,000 employees (68% of the business) took part answering questions on physical and psychological health, engagement, resilience and wellbeing, as well as commenting on their own perceived levels of productivity which encouragingly, showed positive parallels with high-levels of wellbeing; strong business metrics which Grant was able to report back to the board, who have now incorporated the approach into the Mace 2022 business plan.
“For me as a wellbeing practitioner, this is really, really exciting,” she said. “We are going to have some really interesting data over a five-year period to look at the impact and also the evidence-based interventions that we can put in place.”
Concluding her presentation, Grant who also sits on the Women in Health and Safety committee and was previously Group Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing at Royal Mail, was keen to point out inroads that the construction industry has made in regards to wellbeing, particularly in mental health. “As someone who works now in the construction sector, I think it’s an exciting time to be in the industry. There’s such a drive to encourage that openness around mental health and also look at how we can better support our colleagues in the industry.”
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