Focus on wellbeing – Mental Health At Work
30/10/2018

Focus on wellbeing

Grace Walsh and Roxanna Bayram

Consultants, Bailey & French

Our private sector organisations have noticed that even though their employee engagement surveys are generally positive, there is an increase in stress and anxiety across the organisation.

Roxanna Bayram
Roxanna Bayram, Consultant
Grace Walsh
Grace Walsh, Lead Consultant

This has an impact on absenteeism, retention, collaboration and productivity. Wellbeing has increasingly become the focus for organisations as recent research in positive psychology points to the benefits that are possible when organisations empower individuals to take accountability for their wellbeing.

We are aiming to make wellbeing a core part of an organisation's culture

This is beyond having a ‘Wellbeing Week’ and first aid training. While this is all fantastic (and necessary) work, we are aiming to make wellbeing a core part of an organisation’s culture. We are working to ensure that everyone has access to the information they need to flourish and thrive (as opposed to only offering services to people in crisis or when a national week arises).

Dr. Martin Seligman is the founder of Positive Psychology and he is renowned for his PERMA model of wellbeing​Understanding the PERMA model of wellbeing PDF 0 0 The PERMA model of wellbeing outlines five key pillars for flourishing and thriving at work and beyond: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment. This infographic introduces the concept and its benefits and describes each pillar.FreeProvide your details to download straight away By: Bailey & French View resource. The PERMA model highlights five core pillars that when brought to life, result in positive wellbeing and increased resilience. The PERMA model serves as the foundation for much of our work with the Civil Service, which you will read more about later.

A pyramid-shaped diagram showing the pillars of the PERMA+R model of wellbeing: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment, resulting in resilience.

In light of recent figures and evidence in the Stevenson/Farmer Thriving at Work​Thriving at work: the Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers PDF 4 0 An independent review into how employers can better support all employees' mental health, including recommended core standards.Free By: Department for Work and Pensions / Department of Health and Social Care View resource report (2017), wellbeing is now also high on the Civil Service agenda. Sir Jeremy Heywood has, along with the Permanent Secretaries across all 18 Whitehall departments, now agreed to set a target for 90% of senior civil servants to receive Wellbeing Confident Leadership workshops by 31 March 2019.

Steps need to be taken to support leaders in understanding their role and how they can make a positive difference

The aims, as part of the wider wellbeing strategy for the Civil Service, is to give leaders the confidence and the right skills to support people’s wellbeing and help reduce days lost due to mental ill-health and improve productivity. Steps need to be taken to support leaders in understanding their role and how they can make a positive difference, with a focus on mental wellness as opposed to mental illness.

A strategic and long-term preventative approach to wellbeing takes people beyond simply getting back to zero (alleviating the symptoms of mental ill-health) but moving towards thriving and flourishing. The focus within the Civil Service is about giving everyone the knowledge and skills to know how to support their own positive psychological wellbeing, so they have confidence to meet life’s challenges now, and into the future, building a more resilient Civil Service.

The Civil Service are leading the way as advocates for positive wellbeing. It is, however, all our responsibility, as human beings, to build a greater awareness around our own and others’ wellbeing.We need to move to a society where all of us become more aware of our own mental health, other people’s mental health and how to cope with our own and other people’s mental health when it fluctuates. It is all our responsibility to make this change.” (Stevenson/Farmer report, 2017​Thriving at work: the Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers PDF 4 0 An independent review into how employers can better support all employees' mental health, including recommended core standards.Free By: Department for Work and Pensions / Department of Health and Social Care View resource).

Who are Bailey & French?

Bailey & French are positive psychology specialists, with a proactive approach to supporting wellbeing, leadership and performance. We work both in the UK and internationally, and across the public and private sector. Our work encourages people to be their best, and creates positive platforms for people to come up with their own ideas, solutions and ways forward. We are forward thinking and pioneering in our approach, which we are very proud of. Our assets here on Mental Health at Work include:

  • Awareness of the PERMA model of wellbeing​Understanding the PERMA model of wellbeing PDF 0 0 The PERMA model of wellbeing outlines five key pillars for flourishing and thriving at work and beyond: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment. This infographic introduces the concept and its benefits and describes each pillar.FreeProvide your details to download straight away By: Bailey & French View resource
  • Wellbeing micro-actions​Wellbeing micro-actions five-day sample course Web page 0 0 Using small achievable goals each day, it's possible to change our mindset and positively impact our wellbeing. This introduction, based on the PERMA model of wellbeing, will send you one wellbeing-focused micro-action every morning for five days.FreeSign up to receive by e-mail By: Bailey & French View resource—actionable PERMA activities
  • A wellbeing strategy template​Wellbeing strategy template PDF 0 0 Many organisations are happy to invest in initiatives to support employee wellbeing, but often only focus on a few elements. This template outlines the key areas to consider, including questions to help plan and build better strategies for the future.FreeProvide your details to download straight away By: Bailey & French View resource focused around the PERMA pillars
  • An article on the future of work​The future of wellbeing PDF 0 0 More and more organisations are looking to positive psychology to help look at what's right with us as opposed to simply fixing what's wrong. This article summarises such wellbeing initiatives and recommends areas to focus on.FreeProvide your details to download straight away By: Bailey & French View resource and the importance of wellbeing for success
  • Links to purchase our wellbeing tools:
    • Conversation mat​Wellbeing conversation mat Web page 0 0 This mat is designed to open up a discussion about wellbeing within a team, focused on the five pillars of the PERMA wellbeing model. It helps to explore the model and offers an immediate 'pulse check' to help decide what to do next.Paid forEnquire via website to order By: Bailey & French View resource
    • Wellbeing notebook​Wellbeing notebook Web page 0 0 These notebooks are designed to bring wellbeing to the front of your mind. They're filled with little points to reflect upon, based on the PERMA model of wellbeing, prompting you to consider how your work and wellbeing connect.FreeOrder directly from website By: Bailey & French View resource
    • Discussion cards​Let’s Talk Wellbeing cards Web page 0 0 Having great wellbeing conversations is a skill that can be learned. These discussion cards can be used in all sorts of scenarios to start meaningful conversations about the things that positively affect wellbeing.Paid forOrder directly from website By: Bailey & French View resource

We hope that our assets inspire you and your people.