Wellbeing in the Workplace: Whose Responsibility is it?

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Wellbeing in the workplace is a hot topic at the moment, but do we really understand what it is all about.  In a work environment, it is called Wellbeing.  On the news, they are talking about Mental Health.  So what does it mean and is there a difference?

Any role that is customer facing is stressful. The Service Desk Institute realise how difficult it can be for Service Desk staff to know how to cope with stress and how critical it is to have the right support in place.

I joined the Service Desk Institute 2018 conference as one of their leading breakout speakers to discuss the importance of wellbeing in the workplace.

Is Wellbeing just a management issue?

In the dictionary wellbeing is described as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy”.  Mental Health is described as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being”.  So basically it is all about a person being well.

We all have responsibility for ourselves so our Wellbeing is the responsibility of each person.  If work is stressful though is it then a management issue?  To avoid work-related stress, wellbeing initiatives should ideally originate from the boardroom, in order to bring about positive and lasting change.

Having the right support in place, should staff need it, is key.  Depending on the nature and size of the business this can vary from very small companies where everything is managed through Human Resources to having Work Place Assistance programmes in place, medical insurance, an on-site Medical team, Wellbeing Strategies and training to name but a few.  The important thing is that it is fit for purpose for the organisation and that staff know where to go for help.

What if one of your team members having difficulty?  If you are the team manager it is definitely part of the job description, yet often managers are too busy doing the day job to notice the early signs of something being amiss with a member of staff.

If you work with that person team members are often too buried in their own work or they feel ill at ease to approach the person and offer a listening ear.  As part of a team, the culture should be to support each other.  That is what a high performing team does.  Each person is very aware of their role and how they contribute to the success of the team.  They know that each member has to be operating to the best of their ability for the whole team to be operating at their best.  They support each other.

So no, it is not just a management issue, it is everyone’s responsibility to look after themselves and to look after each other.