× MAD WORLD SUMMIT // 21 OCTOBER 2021: MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO WORKPLACE CULTURE, MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING
21st October 2021
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The global pandemic has propelled employee mental health and wellbeing to the top of business agendas. Now let’s keep it there. 

“If you care about the mental health and wellbeing of your people and you care about the future of your business, join us – in-person - for our fourth annual Summit”.

Claire Farrow, Partner & Global Head of Content, Make A Difference Media.

MAD World stands for Make A Difference. Now in its fourth year, the MAD World Summit has become the global go-to solutions-focused conference and exhibition dedicated to turning talk into action; creating cultures of care and embedding mental health and wellbeing as a strategic business priority.

 


Whether you’re just getting started, or you’re looking for ways to build on and bolster your mental, physical, financial or social wellbeing programmes, it’s a day packed with insight, inspiration and the chance to find the answers to your questions with: 

  • 4 tracks of case studies and panel discussions
  • 25 roundtables and 10 workshops.
  • 3 keynote panels
  • 40 suppliers of work culture, mental health and wellbeing solutions under one roof

Key topics we’ll be addressing include:

  • Why workplace mental health and wellbeing matters more than ever and what employers can do about it
  • Dealing with Long-COVID and post-pandemic PTSD
  • Realistic strategies for meeting the increasing demand for a personalised approach to wellbeing support
  • Proactive, preventative workplace wellbeing programmes
  • Equipping managers with the skills to support wellbeing in the new hybrid world of work
  • Supporting the wellbeing of neurodiverse colleagues
  • Data driven wellbeing – why measurement matters
  • Seamlessly integrating wellbeing with diversity and inclusion
  • TechTalking: finding the right digital mental health and wellbeing solution for your organisation
  • Making the most of peer-to-peer networks
  • Engaging the hard to reach with mental health and wellbeing programmes
  • Best practice in financial wellbeing

Find out more here.


2019 Summit Highlights



The BBC attended Mad World - Hear their interviews here.

We'll Be Sharing

INSIGHTS

Meet the people developing the most progressive approaches to workplace culture,mental health and wellbeing

COLLABORATION

Share knowledge in real-time with our cross-sector, cross-function network of like-minded speakers, exhibitors and attendees.

ACTION

Tell your colleagues and book a group pass. Get practical insights to take back and adapt to your organisation.






Latest Speakers



PROFESSOR DAME CAROL BLACK DBE, FRCP, FMEDSCI
Expert Adviser on Health and Work to NHS Improvement and Public Health England and Chair, Ageing Better

Gareth Fryer
Co-Founder & Co-CEO

John Godfrey
Corporate Affairs Director

Estelle Hollingsworth
Chief People Officer

Elisha London
Founder, United for Global Mental Health

Amanda Mackenzie OBE
Chief Executive

Tara Mansfield
People Experience Director

Lee McNamara
Group Head of Internal Communications & Culture, DFS Group

Gary Raucher
Executive Vice President

Niraj Shah
Co-Chair Europe, Transformative Technology Lab.

Joanne Shawcroft
Group People Director, DFS Group

Dr Brendon Stubbs, PhD
Global leader and world highest cited researcher investigating physical activity and mental health





Gold Sponsors

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Unmind
CoachHub
Fika: Mental Fitness
Togetherall




Latest Mad World News

A new guide from global professional services company Aon plc has identified two major age-related trends that are merging to create issues in the workplace: an increasing number of workers with caring responsibilities and the rising average age life expectancy.

According to Aon, this pressure is affecting increasing numbers of individuals which will in turn pressure employers by impacting absence, productivity, employee health, diversity and inclusion and retirement.

Key statistics highlighted by the report include:

  • By 2040, one in six workers will balance their job with caring responsibilities[i]
  • Unpaid carers provide approximately £132 billion worth of care each year[ii]
  • 2.6 million people have given up working altogether to provide care, a 12% increase from 2013[iii]
  • Almost half of workers with caring responsibilities describe their situation as stressful, with 20% falling ill themselves[iv]

Mark Witte, principal, Health Solutions UK at Aon, said:

“This issue is about eldercare in its broadest sense. On one hand, we have employees in the sandwich generation, looking after both their own children and elderly parents. These individuals are concerned not only about looking after younger and older dependents, but also themselves as they move into their old age. The pressure is acute, impacting their mental, physical and financial health, which in turn impacts productivity at work. For employers, on the other hand, the situation is likely to grow, with a particular consideration for women as they are more likely to manage caring responsibilities.

“At a minimum, this issue will impact productivity, absence, healthcare costs and retirement age, as well as diversity and inclusion. Neither the government nor employer eldercare eco-systems are currently strong enough to manage the likely strain.”

Aon’s report outlines the scale of the issue in the UK:

  • Unpaid carers provide approximately £132 billion worth of care each year, but with numbers of dependents set to increase due to the aging population, this will likely bring greater costs.
  • One in seven employees – 4.87 million – are currently balancing their jobs with caring responsibilities. This will rise to one in six employees by 2040.[v]
  • Approximately 2 million people have already reduced their working hours to care for a dependent and 2.6 million have given up working altogether, while more than two thirds of carers are using their own income and savings to cover the cost of care.[vi]
  • Adults are also having children later, meaning they are more likely to have both elder dependents and child dependents at the same time. Women, in particular, are more likely to have given up work due to multiple caring responsibilities, with 60% of informal carers in the UK being women.
  • An insecure retirement income, after a rise in the retirement age, a drop in access to a defined benefit pension and low levels of investment returns, means there’s a lack of money to pay for care.
  • In the UK, average life expectancy has increased from 75 to 81 over the past
    30 years and projections are that life expectancy will continue to rise to over 85 by 2040.vii

Witte added:

“Given the wide-ranging impacts of the aging population, there are a number of ways employers can take action. Some are more easily established, such as policies, services and benefits that can be formed to create a programme of support. In time, an eldercare eco-system could include support for both short- and long-term care, assisting with searches for residential care, facilitating home modifications for adult dependents, flexible working hours, financial wellbeing and helping to promote a healthy life through emotional and physical wellbeing programmes.

“Understanding employee data will help employers develop the most relevant response. Some potential metrics may be easier to point to such as absence or engagement data. In other areas, value is harder to measure, such as the impact on productivity or presenteeism, but action should ultimately support all aspects of individual wellbeing. The aim here for employers is to create stronger, more resilient employees, who are able to cope better with the stresses of modern life.”

You can read the full guide, The Aging Population: Why it’s time to take notice, here.

References:

[i] Carers UK: Caring Behind Closed Doors, October 2020

[ii] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcomloc/768/768.pdf

[iii] Carers UK: Caring Behind Closed Doors, October 2020

[iv] Figures taken from the ‘Invisible Carers’’quantitative study of 2,004 working carers (2017, Atomik)

[v] Carers UK: Caring Behind Closed Doors, October 2020

[vi] Carers UK: Caring Behind Closed Doors, October 2020

vii. United Nations Data (our world in data)

The post Aging Population and Caregiving Responsibility Set to Increase Employer Challenges appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Aging Population and Caregiving Responsibility Set to Increase Employer Challenges

A new global survey from global tech and media company Verizon Media, mental health advocacy group Made of Millions and research firm Culture Co-Op highlights the latest mental health challenges facing managers in the workplace and identifies new solutions.

As managers around the world examine the impact of the past year on their workforce, it comes as no surprise that 87% agree that mental health is the number one impact. This report turns awareness into action as corporations are finding themselves on the frontlines of a burgeoning mental health crisis, noting Gen Z and managers with mental health conditions can be catalysts for change.

Key findings illustrate:

  • A Lack of Understanding: While 93% agreed mental health is already having a direct impact on their bottom line, only one-quarter to one-third of global managers felt equipped to handle the mental health needs of their teams. 80% of managers worry about using the wrong language when addressing issues like mental health, race, gender, and other sensitive topics.
  • Caregiver Stress: 91% of HR execs reported this had been their hardest year of work yet they are less likely to address their own mental health, with only 49% having reached out for help.
  • Stigma Persists: There is a gap between recognizing mental health as a workplace issue and creating a company culture that effectively addresses it. Corporations need a standard for defining different sources of mental strain and empowering managers to address them.

In response to this new research, Verizon Media and Made of Millions are introducing The Mental Health Matrix, a next generation approach for identifying and managing mental health in the workplace.

A new solution

The Mental Health Matrix is a first of its kind workplace assessment, anchored in four key areas:

  • Conditions: Mental health issues that are medically diagnosed such as generalized anxiety or chronic depression;
  • Intersections: Mental health challenges that result from prejudicial behavior including racism and other forms of discrimination;
  • Triggers: Mental health challenges that are part of workplace dynamics and situations, from microaggressions to team conflicts;
  • Situations: Mental health challenges based on individual personal experiences, like financial strain and Covid-related stress.

The creators of the solution state that by applying The Mental Health Matrix framework, managers can better accommodate neurodiversity, arbitrate discriminatory behaviour, address workplace stressors and adapt to personal struggles.

According to the survey, 96% of managers and corporate leaders said modelling an approach to mental health management in the workplace would be helpful and 73% noted there was a time during the past year when they could have used a tool like this one.

Corporate Catalysts for Change

The research found Gen Z and managers with mental health conditions have the potential to be corporate catalysts for change. These leaders can change how other managers think about mental health with their increased empathy for employees and overall awareness. Furthermore, the report suggested that Gen Z’s neurodiversity understanding could revolutionise how organizations approach mental health.

By creating a more open and supportive environment, leaders can help encourage managers with mental health conditions to support and advocate for better mental health understanding in the workplace.

The road ahead

Mental health is a key cultural issue that workplaces are uniquely positioned to address. The events of the past year and a new generation of workers attuned to neurodiversity have culminated to create a watershed moment for companies to prioritise mental health.

Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media said: “It’s a long and evolving road ahead to prioritize mental health at work, but industry research like this helps leaders to better understand gaps and identify solutions to build better mental health standards,”

“The cost of ignoring mental health in the workplace can impact calibre and quality of product, and goes even beyond output. It can damage working relationships, effectiveness and overall culture. That’s why we launched the Mind Together coalition – to bring together corporate leaders to commit to mental health education, awareness and learning programs for the workforce.”

This study is based on a survey among 1,000 managers, human resource executives and corporate leaders in six global countries: Canada, France, India, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Deeper conversations were conducted with an expert panel of psychologists, medical advisors and corporate pioneers in mental health.

To download the full findings please visit: verizonmedia.com/ourcompany/mind-together.

The post New Global Survey Identifies Top Mental Health Issues and Solutions For Corporations appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

New Global Survey Identifies Top Mental Health Issues and Solutions For Corporations

Entries close on July 2 for Morgan Stanley’s inaugural Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Innovation Awards.

Through the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health – composed of key leaders in the space –  the multinational financial services corporation issued its call to nonprofits in April of this year. The ask: to submit tranformative mental health solutions that will help improve the lives of children and young people.

400 applications have already been received but there is still just enough time to submit an entry if you haven’t already.

Meeting the needs of the next generation

The Alliance will award a total of $500,000 in grants and provide consulting and capital showcasing opportunities to selected U.S.-based 501(c)3 public charities that are actively working to address adverse mental health outcomes such as stress, anxiety, depression and disruptive behaviors in innovative ways.

Applications will be reviewed based on their innovation, scope, impact and potential by experts in the field. Those selected as finalists will gain access to capital to test or scale their work, as well as a six-week consulting program to learn from industry experts and enhance their proposals. Finalists will ultimately present their solutions to a broad audience, including mental health leaders and other funders looking to support impactful causes in the area of children’s mental health.

The Innovation Awards build on the Alliance’s commitment to bring together nonprofits, corporate partners and the philanthropic sector to create meaningful change in children’s mental health. The Alliance believes that Increased funding in youth mental health is imperative, with less than two percent of philanthropic investments currently going toward mental health resources in the U.Si.

“COVID-19 and all its repercussions have taken a significant toll on children’s mental health. With exponential increases in depression and anxiety among children, it is clear we need collective efforts to prevent the existing crisis in children’s mental health from escalating even further,” said Ted Pick, Head of the Institutional Securities Group at Morgan Stanley and Chair of the Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Advisory Board. “With the Innovation Awards, we hope to advance new, impactful solutions and drive philanthropy attention to a highly underfunded space.”

Joan Steinberg, President of the Morgan Stanley Foundation, and CEO of the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health’s Advisory Board said: “Children’s mental health is vastly underfunded despite its high prevalence and far-reaching implications. The organizations that are creating incredible solutions are working without access to proper funding, which has only worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic,”

“Through the Innovation Awards, we look forward to spotlighting and funding game-changing mental health care solutions for children and young people.”

Applications are being accepted through to July 2, 2021. Interested organisations can visit here to learn more and submit their innovative ideas.

i https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2020/6/28/more-than-ever-mental-health-needs-to-a-top-priority-for-philanthropy-heres-why

The post Closing Date Approaching For Morgan Stanley’s Inaugural Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Innovation Awards appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Closing Date Approaching For Morgan Stanley’s Inaugural Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Innovation Awards

Dr Nick Earley is a Clinical Psychologist and Head of Psychology at workplace wellbeing provider Happence. He has a wealth of experience supporting people with mental health difficulties and helping workplaces to prioritise employee wellbeing. He is also a keen advocate and speaker on mental health and resilience, particularly in the realms of public health and corporate wellbeing.

In this article, Dr Earley responds to some frequently asked questions about post-pandemic workplace wellbeing. Some of the probing questions were posed during the recent Make A Difference Media webinar entitled “The Hidden Pandemic” which was sponsored by Happence. A recording of this can be accessed free here.

Q1. In the workplace and wider society, the pandemic has had far-reaching consequences for mental health. Will it take a while for the number of people experiencing mental health issues to go back to pre-Covid levels?

It is very difficult to tell at the moment. However, the events of the pandemic have caused ubiquitous stress and trauma for many people which will likely lead to an increased need for mental health provision by NHS services. On the other hand, we are optimistic that mental health and wellbeing have become commonplace in the public discourse during the pandemic, which will hopefully reduce stigma and encourage people to speak more openly about their mental health and seek support sooner.

Q2. Is workplace wellbeing likely to remain high on the business agenda after the pandemic?

Whilst the pandemic has been a challenging experience overall, it has led to a greater focus on wellbeing; both for individuals and companies. We have seen wellbeing become a C-suite agenda item in many companies, which can only be a good thing. At the very least, it has meant that companies will be better versed not just in the human argument, but also the strong economic argument for a preventive approach to workplace wellbeing. I also believe that prospective employees will be more discerning when choosing where to work, with companies who put their people first coming out on top.

Time will tell, but we are hopeful that these positive changes will continue in a post-Covid future. With hybrid working becoming the norm for many, I believe employers have a duty to continue to play an active role in the wellbeing of their employees.

Q3. How can businesses balance the need for meeting strenuous targets with supporting employee wellbeing?

Putting your people first does not mean that your business targets, results, clients and stakeholders will suffer. Indeed, the opposite is the case. When you put your people and their wellbeing first, they are motivated to put their best selves forward and are more likely to be focused, engaged and better able to manage stressors. Stressed or disengaged employees are more likely to be absent from work, not performing at their best, or wanting to move on from their roles. All these factors will adversely impact business targets.

Q4. Encouraging people to speak openly about their mental health is crucial for fostering a culture of psychological safety in the workplace. What can be done to tackle invalidating responses that employees may receive, such as “yeah I have that too, and I get on”?

Attitudes to wellbeing and mental health can vary dramatically, and this is often due to people lacking knowledge of the subject. The best way to tackle these kinds of comments is by rolling out and promoting a leadership-backed wellbeing strategy that has advocates and champions at all levels of the business. Having leaders that are willing to share anecdotal personal experiences can really help with this too.

Q5. Suicide is often a taboo subject in the workplace. What steps can be taken by employers to prevent suicide?

Suicide in the workplace is relatively uncommon; however, when an organisation loses someone to suicide, it can be very distressing for employees. The causes of suicide are complex, and we often do not know why people take their own life, which can make coming to terms with the loss of a colleague even more difficult.

Employers can take steps towards suicide prevention regardless of whether work is a major cause of an employee’s mental health problems. A good suicide prevention policy can even be worked into existing occupational health and wellbeing policies.

Public Health England, in collaboration with Business in the Community, produced a helpful toolkit for employers on suicide prevention that unions should make their employers aware of. Key guidance includes the promotion of good mental health and de-stigmatisation of mental health issues, stress reduction at work, preventative action against bullying, and mental health training for managers. In addition, the Samaritans support workplaces with a range of training and eLearning tools.

Q6. What can businesses do to support their staff when they don’t have dedicated wellbeing budgets?

Even without financial resources allocated specifically to wellbeing, businesses can help their employees through training courses to boost knowledge and skills on resilience-related subjects.

Some other low- or zero-cost ideas for supporting staff include scheduling walking meetings to get people moving, setting up exercise clubs for before or after work or during lunch breaks, inviting people to bring their pets to work, and signposting online wellbeing resources and mobile apps.

Q7. Successful wellbeing strategies are often implemented by taking a top-down approach. How can businesses ensure that their leaders have the skills and confidence they need to champion wellbeing support?

The first step businesses should take in implementing a successful wellbeing strategy is getting senior leaders on board. Once management understand and are willing to promote wider rollout, employees in the rest of the company are more likely to buy into the initiative. This goes hand in hand with training for the whole workforce, such as mental health first-aid training, and the nomination of wellbeing champions who can oversee wellbeing practices on the ground. They will also be able to help raise awareness of mental health issues through awareness days and speaker events, for example.

It is also crucial to have a wellbeing policy that describes the roles and responsibilities of managers, HR, colleagues and those in specific wellbeing positions. This policy should also be reviewed regularly to keep it fit-for-purpose.

Q8. If managers are reluctant to participate in wellbeing programmes, what can be done to encourage them?

It is not unusual for anyone, manager or not, to be sceptical about a wellbeing programme; wellbeing is still relatively new word in the public lexicon and may have negative connotations for some people. I have come across this many times and I have found that once I have explained the term, people are generally more open and accepting of wellbeing. I explain that wellbeing is relevant yet unique to everyone and strongly linked to our happiness, life satisfaction and reduced stress.

Q9. How can businesses manage wellbeing initiatives on a global scale, accounting for cultural differences in attitudes towards mental health?

Where possible, an organisation’s wellbeing goals should be closely aligned from one jurisdiction to another. To execute this, any goal setting or policy making should come from the top of organisation, with the right people recruited in each of country or office, so that rollout can be as tailored and culture-specific as possible.

This may involve localising and translating any content created or circulated by the company and liaising with local wellbeing practitioners and experts to ensure the initiative is suited to its workforce.

You can find out more about how Happence helps businesses create happier and healthier workforces, visit www.happence.com.

The post Post-pandemic Workplace Wellbeing: Your Burning Questions Answered By Happence’s Head of Psychology Dr Nick Earley appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Post-pandemic Workplace Wellbeing: Your Burning Questions Answered By Happence’s Head of Psychology Dr Nick Earley

We brush our teeth for dental hygiene and workout to stay physically fit – but are we taking the same proactive and preventative approach to looking after our mental health?

Prevention over cure: supporting employee mental health and wellness

Matt Jackson, Head of North America with mental health platform Unmind will be hosting a Make A Difference Media webinar on 19th August from 11.00am – 12.00pm (New York time), 8.00am – 9.00am (San Francisco time) and 4.00pm – 5.00pm (UK time), entitled: “Prevention over cure: supporting employee mental health and wellness”.

Matt will first outline Unmind’s new vision for supporting employee mental health; one that promotes our physical, psychological and social wellbeing. He’ll then open the session to discussion drawing on the perspectives of our stellar panel including:

  • Sheila Krueger, Head of Global Benefits @ Zoom Video Communications
  • Erika Soto Lamb, Vice President, Social Impact Strategy @ Comedy Central & MTV
  • Laura DeCook, Wellbeing Specialist, Expedia Group

We’ll be covering:

  • The whole-person, whole-organization mindset.
  • Why no employee should be left behind – prevention for 5 of 5 vs. treatment for 1 in 5.
  • How to provide the right support for your employees’ wellbeing, wherever they are on their mental health journey.
  • How to engage employees with the wellbeing support that you are providing.

The content is recommended for:

  • CEOs, COOs, CFOs, Chief Medical Officers, CHROs
  • HR and Benefits Leaders
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Leaders
  • Workplace mental health and wellness champions and advocates

In other words, anyone, from any type or size of organisation, who cares about the mental health and wellbeing of your employees as we move into the next phase of the pandemic.

Find out more and register here.

The post Prevention Over Cure: Make A Difference US Webinar with Unmind, Zoom, Expedia Group and MTV appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Prevention Over Cure: Make A Difference US Webinar with Unmind, Zoom, Expedia Group and MTV

In light of a recent report examining the workplace wellbeing challenges employers face post-lockdown, Pippa Andrews, Director of Corporate Business for Vitality, explores the areas that organisations most need to be aware of.

Multiple lockdowns will undoubtedly leave a long-lasting legacy on the UK. Britain’s homeworkers may have been shielded from some of the more immediate aspects of Covid-19 during the pandemic, but the health impact – physical and mental – has been high for a range of reasons.

The recent ‘Healthy Hybrid: A Blueprint for Business’ report[1], co-produced by Vitality and the RSA, explored exactly that. Focusing on four key areas of workplace wellbeing that have been impacted, it draws out the lessons learned for managers and employers looking to create inclusive productivity gains for their workforce while keeping staff happy and healthy.

As the ‘Healthy Hybrid’ report shows, remote working is likely to continue well beyond the pandemic in line with changing employee expectations, with only 16% of homeworkers preferring to work in a physical location full-time in the future. The onus is on employers, then, to build and embed ways of working that balance the best of both worlds in a way that’s productive and sustainable for staff. Here are four key learnings from lockdown for organisations to bear in mind as we enter another ‘new normal’.

One of the biggest ‘long lockdown’ challenges will be mental health

Maintaining good levels of mental health is a key area for managers to monitor for a ‘long lockdown’ effect. In the short-term, returning to physical workplaces needs careful management – 50% of all homeworkers feel anxious about the return, the report found.

Separate data gathered by Vitality has suggested maintaining staff morale has been challenging for employers during the first part of 2021. Survey results from January to April of this year[2] showed that the percentage of employees reporting low life satisfaction increased from 30% to 52.9% when compared to the findings of Britain’s Healthiest Workplace in 2019. Meanwhile, the percentage of employees reporting poor mental health increased from 7.6% to 14.9% during this period, the same survey data also revealed.

Evidence suggests that employers are already taking this seriously. According to a recent survey, 96% of SME leaders identified mental health as a top priority. Furthermore, 39% stated that the wellbeing and health of their employees is likely to have the biggest impact on their decision making over the next year[3]. Meanwhile, the ‘Healthy Hybrid’ report revealed that 77% believed their employer has done enough to support their wellbeing, while one in four (44%) remote workers found it easier to manage their mental health at home.

Lockdown has created an ‘ergonomic timebomb’

At various points, the pandemic has caused widespread physical inactivity and increased sedentary behaviour. Adding to this, working from home in cramped or unsuitable conditions has raised fears of musculoskeletal injuries and backpain – something the report calls an ‘ergonomic timebomb’.

According to a survey by Nuffield Health during the first lockdown, 45% of remote workers said they were spending more time at their workstation than they would normally at their place of work, while 70% said they were experiencing more aches and pains in their back, neck, shoulders, legs and joints, as well as more eye strain and headaches than usual when working from home.

However, despite this, the ‘Healthy Hybrid’ survey found that many adults believe the switch to working from home has made it easier for them to maintain physical fitness levels (51%) and do regular exercise (57%). Suggesting that managers and leaders have an opportunity to harness this flexibility and promote a genuinely healthy approach to hybrid working.

Homeworkers are working harder – however this might not be sustainable

Some surveys suggest that rather than dropping off a cliff, productivity may have risen. However, uncertainty remains around how real or sustainable these gains are, with fears that some homeworkers are following an unhealthy approach that could lead to burnout. Aligning flexibility with a more inclusive model for productivity is a key opportunity for employers looking to secure a healthy hybrid approach to working, according to the report.

The survey found that 55% of homeworkers said working from home meant they found it easier to get more work done – with men and women working around three hours extra per week on average. Meanwhile, the CIPD evidence review on remote working found that 70% of homeworkers believe they were at least as productive as in the office[4]. Equally, Vitality data shows that 40% of people are replacing the one hour on average gained from their commute with extra time working.

The key for managers and leaders is to try to only raise productivity that is conducive to wellbeing and therefore sustainable in the long-term. This would be a significant shared value boon to employees, employers, the economy and ultimately society.

The negative effects of lockdown are not spread equally

While many aspects of the pandemic experience are universal, many of the painful effects are not evenly distributed, the report also showed. The evidence from lockdown suggest three groups – female caregivers, young people and some ethnic minorities – have all suffered disproportionately.

According to analysis from the RSA, 27.4% of women reported worse concentration than usual, compared to 18.4% of men. This rises to 31.3% of women versus 22.3% of men when looking only at those working from home. Worryingly, this rises further to 41.2% for women and 29.6% for men when looking at homeworkers with children under 12.

Research by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) and LinkedIn shows that 56% of people were more stressed and anxious about work than before the pandemic, but this rose to 72% and 64% for 18-24 and 24-35 age groups respectively[5]. The same research revealed they are less likely to have an effective home office set up and a survey by US firm Smartsheet found that 82% of Gen Z workers felt ‘less connected’ whilst working remotely[6].

People from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background are more likely than their white peers to report working harder than they did before the pandemic, according to research from the Fawcett Society[7]. Adding to this, Sport England identified them to be among the most affective in terms of the drop-off in physical activity[8].

Want to hear more about how to embed fair and effective ‘Healthy Hybrid’ ways of working into your organisation? The report also lays out 10 recommendations to employers. Read it here.

[1] The RSA & Vitality (2021) Healthy Hybrid: A Blueprint for Business

[2] Vitality data collected over the period from January to April. Results based on 2011 respondents who were working from home.

[3] HR Solutions (2020) SME Challenges post Covid-19

[4] Dodd, V. (2020) Employees Want to Keep Working from Home. Skillcast.

[5] O’Sullivan, C. The challenges of home working: Why we must protect mental health during lockdown and beyond

[6] Smartsheet, 2020. Over 90% of Young Workers Having Difficulty Working from Home, Survey Finds.

[7] Women’s Budget Group, Fawcett Society, Queen Mary University of London, London School of Economics (2020) BAME women and Covid-19 – Research evidence

[8] Sport England (2021) Understanding the impact of Covid-19

About the author

Pippa Andrews is Director of Corporate Business for Vitality

The post ‘Healthy Hybrid’: Four Lessons From Lockdown appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

‘Healthy Hybrid’: Four Lessons From Lockdown

It’s official! After weeks of anticipation, the winners of the inaugural Make A Difference Awards, in association with Royal Mail Group and Optima Health, have been announced.

There were 136 nominations for the awards and judges announced a shortlist of 14 in May.  The Make A Difference community and nominees’ networks’ were then invited to vote a winner in each of the five categories. Almost 5000 votes were cast and the winners were announced at the Make A Difference Insights & Awards webinar on 15th June – International Make A Difference Day.

Dr Shaun Davis, Royal Mail’s Global Director of Compliance & Sustainability, said: “Entries for the awards showed that companies big and small have really taken on board the importance of mental health and wellbeing in a year that has been unlike any other. The judges were particularly impressed to see so many organisations nominated that they haven’t seen embracing this agenda before – demonstrating that workplace mental health and wellbeing are fast moving mainstream.”

Simon Arnold, CEO of Optima Health added: “Mental health and wellbeing jumped straight to the top of the business agenda when the pandemic first hit and it was great to see so many organisations embracing new employee-centred initiatives.”

The winners

Employer: SME – less than 250 employees

The two nominees that the judges shortlisted for the SME category were Infinity and Circus Street. They recognised that both have taken innovative approaches to supporting wellbeing throughout the pandemic. Both are moving the dial within their organisations to create psychologically safe work cultures. After a close fought battle the winner with 59.9% of the votes is Infinity.

 

Employer: Corporate – more than 250 employees

The three nominees that the judges shortlisted for this category are Aldi Stores UK, Awin and Emcor UK. The judges were particularly impressed by Awin’s flexibility and their innovative shift to a 4.5 day week, as well as the fact that they are measuring the impact of their initiatives. Aldi’s success, engaging colleagues right across the business, as well as their holistic approach and commitment to strategic partnerships was recognised. As was, Emcor’s proactive and progressive approach to putting mental health and wellbeing at the heart of organisational strategic objectives and sustainable development goals. The winner with 66.6% of votes is Aldi Stores UK.

Employer: Public Sector / Charity

The three nominees that the judges shortlisted for this category are: British Red Cross, Highways England and Sandwell College.

The judges liked British Red Cross’ entry which focused on the organisation’s specific response to the pandemic.  They also recognise the exceptional job that Highways England is doing in very difficult circumstances, supporting colleagues all over the country. They were impressed by the inclusive impact Sandwell College is having, supporting colleagues, learners and the wider community and making mental health and wellbeing the essence of decision making and actions. The winner however, with 51.7% of the votes is British Red Cross.

Individual: Unsung Hero

We received so many nominations for this category that it was hard to select a shortlist. But in the end the judges felt that all three nominees shortlisted are going above and beyond their normal jobs, have stepped out of the shadows and have clearly said to themselves “I’m going to be a change agent here”. The three shortlisted nominees were Christine Howarth, Client Services & Mental Health Ally, Allen & Overy, Laura DeCook, Wellbeing Specialist, Expedia Group and Rachel Pears, Inclusion & Diversity Lead, Internal Employment Council, RPC Law Firm. The winner with 48.5% of the votes is Christine Haworth.

Individual: True Leader

For the shortlist of nominees for this category, the judges were looking for leaders who were nominated because they are proactively prioritising mental health and wellbeing in an authentic way – not necessarily as their core job. Next year we’d like to see women in senior leadership roles in this shortlist, although having male leaders championing this agenda and being recognised as role models is also positive. The three shortlisted nominees were Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, David Henderson, Managing Director, Tobermore Concrete and Jonny Jacobs, Finance Director EMEA with Starbucks. The winner with an astounding 63.7% of the votes is David Henderson.

 

Joining Dr Shaun Davis, Simon Arnold and me on the judging panel were Dr Kamel Hothi OBE, non-executive Director of TLC Lions, Stacy Thomson, Founder of The Performance Club and Louise Aston, Wellbeing Campaign Director, Business in the Community.

You can read more about the judges and the full shortlist of nominees here.

Maintaining momentum

We launched the Make A Difference Awards as an opportunity to stop, think and thank the individuals and employers who have really made a difference to workplace mental health and wellbeing during what has been an incredibly tough year. The winners are organisations and individuals that are leading the way and inspiring others to follow their example.

We’ve been bowled over by the response to these inaugural Make A Difference Awards. The enthusiasm with which they’ve been embraced demonstrates the importance of wellbeing for everyone in the workplace after a year dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The key now is to keep this momentum going and to embed proactive cultures of care that prioritise mental health and wellbeing.

To find out more about how you can achieve this within your organisation, join us at this year’s MAD World Summit in London on 21st October. We look forward to seeing you there.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s Make A Difference Awards too. Which individual or employer will you nominate?

About the author

Claire Farrow is the Global Director of Content and Programming for www.makeadifference.media and the MAD World Summit. She’s on a mission to help every employer – large, medium and small – get the insight, inspiration and contacts they need to make real impact on workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing in their organisation. She has been freelance for more than 15 years. During that time, she has had the honour of working with many leading publishers, including the New York Times.

The post Winners of the Make A Difference Awards 2021 appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Winners of the Make A Difference Awards 2021

Fertility challenges can affect anyone: men, women, same sex couples, single people and single parents – and are likely to be affecting a significant number of employees in every organisation.

Crucially, according to Fertility Network UK, 90% of individuals encountering fertility issues experience some level of depression and 43% feel suicidal.

And it’s not just those that are having fertility treatment that need support. Everyone can benefit from healthy fertility advice. A recent study by Peppy showed that:

  • 96% of respondents said they would feel more positive about their employer if they offered fertility support.
  • Feelings of confidence doubled and those who were feeling stressed fell from 45% to 20% after just four weeks of receiving specialist fertility support.

Yet many employers are only just recognising the impact fertility problems can have on their business and what they can do to help.

The next frontier in diversity, inclusivity and belonging

If you want to understand how to make fertility a core part of your D & I and wellbeing initiatives, join us on Thursday 1st July from 12.00pm – 1.00pm for a free to attend interactive Make A Difference webinar sponsored by Peppy and with thanks to Fertility Network UK.

The webinar will cover:

• An introduction to why fertility problems are affecting your workforce
• How you can offer personalised and inclusive support
Case study: How international law firm Clifford Chance has implemented effective fertility support

Recommended for:

● Diversity & Inclusion Leaders
● Wellbeing Leaders and Champions
● HR, Talent, Engagement and Benefits Leaders
● Culture & Business Transformation Leaders

In other words, anyone who cares about taking an inclusive and personalised approach to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of colleagues.

The webinar is open to all but is particularly relevant for organisations with 500+ employees.

Register here to reserve your place.

The post Webinar: How to Make Fertility a Core Part of Inclusive Workplace Wellbeing appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Webinar: How to Make Fertility a Core Part of Inclusive Workplace Wellbeing

In 2015 I was invited to my first gathering of workplace mindfulness champions. I had no idea what to expect and was full of questions. I wanted to bring mindfulness into my workplace (then the UK’s Ministry of Justice) but didn’t have a clue about how to do it. I also felt like I was the only person in a regular job that knew anything about mindfulness!

I was wrong.

Communities change lives

In that first meeting, I felt a sense of camaraderie, shared purpose and direction. I learnt about other people’s endeavours in the UK’s Health Service, EY, The Prison Service and elsewhere. I realised not only was I not alone; I wasn’t even unusual. There were others like me trying to bring mindfulness to their colleagues and friends at work, and in so many walks of very conventional life.

This realisation and this network gave me the confidence to start my first drop-in ‘mindfulness’ session, once a week in the Ministry of Justice, with a friend I met through that network. I believe that seven years later, the drop-in session is still going strong. I started talking about mindfulness to my colleagues and teams and by 2018 I was able to integrate mindfulness into the design of the Programme I was directing and wrote a book on the basis of what I learned from that experience.

The power of community 

Mine is not a unique story. A dear friend was so frustrated by the challenges of bringing mindfulness to the multinational she was working for that she considered quitting, not only the mindfulness programme she had started, but her job too. By her own account it was the support of the community of mindfulness champions that gave her the strength to continue. The network she had created at the multinational now consists of thousands of people around the world practicing mindfulness.

Launching The Mindful Workplace Community (MWC)

To ensure that this support was available to all, the Group of Champions that had helped myself and my friend launched as The Mindful Workplace Community in 2019. The Mindful Workplace Community was established by the Mindfulness Initiative, the charity that emerged from the work of the UK Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness

In just one year, and despite the pandemic, The Community has grown to have corporate members including HSBC, EY, Dentons, Leeds Building Society, Roche and Sionic, and to have a truly international membership with individual members spread from Poland to the West Coast of the US and Scandinavia to Australia.  

How can it help you?

The Community offers a webinar programme with an extraordinary range of speakers including leading psychologists, authors, researchers and thought leaders. This library of insight is available to all members. This year the Community is following several themes, in particular, our festival of inclusion, looking at how the mindful workplace can become truly inclusive. We are also exploring techniques and tools to build mindful communities in workplaces. 

It also has a rich range of resources to support people who are trying to establish their mindfulness network at work, including practical materials like tools and templates, feedback forms and marketing suggestions. As well as a single stop for research in the field, pulling together sources of information about the subject.

But above all, the Mindful Workplace Community offers a place to meet, learn from, be inspired and inspire, fellow workplace mindfulness champions. Some of our organisations are using our programme of events as a way of providing their internal champions network with the continuous personal development, they are keen to offer. 

Why now?

This Community means so much to our members (including me).  During this extraordinary year the sense of isolation has been present for many. But being part of the Community has meant that I have had a connection with people facing similar professional challenges throughout the pandemic. As it looks like we are starting to emerge at different stages around the world, our international community is able to continue to support each other, share ideas and best practices on how to support mindfulness in the workplace as we step into an unknown future.  

Perhaps the best way to explain this is to let one of our members explain.

‘At the time of finding The Mindfulness Workplace Community I was in a bad way. In the throes of complex PTSD and initially shielded, I was feeling isolated and extremely anxious. The MWC gave me a place where I felt heard and seen. It gave me a community in which I felt valued and supported by likeminded individuals. This dramatically improved my self-confidence which allowed me to continue in my junior doctor role and become involved in healthcare workers’ wellbeing. I am not just incredibly grateful to the MWC, I am honoured to be counted among them.’ [Dr Georgina Budd, MWC Member. Dr Georgina Budd@mymindonwheels].

Looking forward to a post-pandemic world

Mindfulness has had a huge amount of publicity over the past 12 months and many organisations have either tried to bring in elements of mindfulness to their business, or invested greater resources into their existing programmes. 

This is potentially great news for the wellbeing of teams across the world. But it can be a baffling enterprise to navigate the ways in which we might try and bring mindfulness to our particular work setting. In the Mindful Workplace Community, you can meet people who are willing and able to share their experience, their successes and failures from working in SMEs to large multi-nationals. 

It can be a tough gig

Despite the increased attention given to mindfulness in the media and by some organisations, in some environments, mindfulness is still relatively new and suggests real culture change. Being the person bringing mindfulness to the workplace can be a tough gig. It can feel isolating, as it was for me and my friend all those years ago. Being connected, being part of a community can help you remember that you are not alone in this work. Thousands and thousands of individuals are learning about the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace every day and you can connect with the people who are involved in your field.

Even for the experienced

And for those of us who have been bringing mindfulness to the workplace for a while, the opportunity to continue to learn, to share latest thinking and occasionally be able to share some personal insights brings a great sense of connection.

You’d be welcome

If this sounds like it may be of interest and help to you; whether you are a new mindfulness champion, as I was in 2015, a senior leader inspiring the introduction of mindfulness to your multinational, a workplace mindfulness trainer, or anything in-between, you are welcome in The Mindful Workplace Community.

I hope to meet you there soon

About Andrew McNeill

Andrew McNeill is an author, leadership consultant and mindfulness teacher. Following 25 years in senior leadership (including as lead of the UK Government on assurance for the Olympic and Paralympic Torches (London 2012), Head of Programme Assurance (Ministry of Justice) and Programme Director (Building Safety Programme)) he published ‘Organisation Mindfulness – a how to guide’ in 2019. Andrew is now the Development Director of the Mindful Workplace Community and Co-Director of BAMBA (the UK’s professional body for mindfulness teachers). Andrew continues to provide leadership consultancy (working on major projects and programmes) and brings mindfulness to workplace teams and leaders.

 

In 2015 I was invited to my first meeting of a gathering of workplace mindfulness champions. I had no idea what to expect and was mainly full of questions. I was wanting to bring mindfulness into my workplace (then the UK’s Ministry of Justice) but didn’t have a clue about how to do it. I also felt like I was the only person in a regular job, that knew anything about mindfulness!

I was wrong.

Communities change lives

In that first meeting I felt a sense of camaraderie, shared purpose and direction. I learnt about other people’s endeavours in the UK’s Heath Service, EY, The Prison Service and elsewhere. I realised not only was I not alone; I wasn’t even unusual. There were others like me trying to bring mindfulness to their colleagues and friends, in work, and in so many walks of very conventional life.

This realisation and this network gave me the confidence to start my first drop-in ‘mindfulness’ session, once a week in the Ministry of Justice, with a friend I met through that network. I believe that seven years later, that session is still going strong. I started talking about mindfulness to my colleagues and teams and by 2018 I was able to integrate mindfulness into the design of the Programme I was directing and wrote a book on the basis of what I learned in that experience.

The power of community 

Mine is not a unique story. A dear friend of mine was so frustrated by the challenges of bringing mindfulness to the multi-national she was working for that she was considering quitting, not only the mindfulness programme she had started, but her job too. By her own account it was the support of the community of mindfulness champions that gave her the strength to continue. Her network now consists of thousands of people around the world practicing mindfulness.

Launching the Mindful Workplace Community (MWC)

To ensure that this support was available to all, the Group of Champions that had helped myself and my friend was launched as the Mindful Workplace Community in 2019. It was established by the Mindfulness Initiative, the charity that emerged from the work of the UK Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness. 

In just one year, during the pandemic, The Community has grown to have corporate members including HSBC, EY, Dentons, Leeds Building Society, Roche and Sionic and to have a truly international membership with individual members from Poland to the West Coast of the US and Scandinavia to Australia.  

How can it help you?

The Community offers a webinar programme with an extraordinary range of speakers including leading psychologists, authors, researchers and thought leaders. This library of insight is available to all members. This year the Community is following several themes, in particular, our festival of inclusion, looking at how the mindful workplace can become truly inclusive. We are also exploring techniques and tools to build mindful communities in workplaces. 

It also has a rich range of resources to support people who are trying to establish their mindfulness network at work, including practical materials like tools and templates, feedback forms and marketing suggestions. As well as a single stop for research in the field, pulling together sources of information about the subject.

But above all, the Mindful Workplace Community offers a place to meet, learn from, be inspired and inspire, fellow workplace mindfulness champions. Some of our organisations are using our programme of events as a way of providing their internal champions network with the continuous personal development, they are keen to offer. 

Why now?

This Community means so much to our members (including me).  During this extraordinary year the sense of isolation has been present for many. But being part of the Community has meant that I have had a connection with people facing similar professional challenges to me throughout the pandemic. As it looks like we are starting to emerge at different stages around the world, our international community is able to continue to support each other and share ideas and best practice on how to support mindfulness in the workplace as we emerge. 

Perhaps the best way to explain this is to let one of our other members explain.

‘At the time of finding The Mindfulness Workplace Community I was in a bad way. In the throes of complex PTSD and initially shielded, I was feeling isolated and extremely anxious. The MWC gave me a place where I felt heard and seen. It gave me a community in which I felt valued and supported by likeminded individuals. This dramatically improved my self-confidence which allowed me to continue in my junior doctor role and become involved in healthcare workers’ wellbeing. I am not just incredibly grateful to the MWC, I am honoured to be counted among them.’ [Dr Georgina Budd, MWC Member. Dr Georgina Budd@mymindonwheels].

Looking forward to a post-pandemic world

Mindfulness has had a huge amount of publicity over the past 12 months and many organisations have either tried to bring in elements of mindfulness to their business, or invested greater resources into their existing programmes. 

This is potentially great news for the wellbeing of teams across the world. But it can be a baffling enterprise to navigate the ways in which we might try and bring mindfulness to our particular work setting. In the Mindful Workplace Community, you can meet people who are willing and able to share their experience, their successes and failure from working in SMEs to large multi-nationals. 

It can be a tough gig

Despite the increased attention given to mindfulness in the media and by some organisations, in some environments, mindfulness is still relatively new and suggests real culture change. So being the person bringing mindfulness to the workplace can be a tough gig. It can feel isolating, as it was for me and my friend all those years ago. So being connected, being part of a community can help you remember that you are not alone in this. Thousands and thousands of individuals are learning about the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace every day and you can connect with the people who are involved in your field.

Even for the experienced

And for those of us who have been bringing mindfulness to the workplace for a while, the opportunity to continue to learn, to share latest thinking and occasionally be able to share some personal insights brings a great sense of connection.

You’d be welcome

If this sounds like it may be of interest and help to you; whether you are a new mindfulness champion, as I was in 2015, a senior leader inspiring the introduction of mindfulness to your multinational, a workplace mindfulness trainer, or anything in-between, you would be welcome in the Mindful Workplace Community.

I hope to meet you there soon

About the author

Andrew McNeill is an author, leadership consultant and mindfulness teacher. Following 25 years in senior leadership (including as lead of the UK Government on assurance for the Olympic and Paralympic Torches (London 2012), Head of Programme Assurance (Ministry of Justice) and Programme Director (Building Safety Programme)) he published ‘Organisation Mindfulness – a how to guide’ in 2019. Andrew is now the Development Director of the Mindful Workplace Community and Co-Director of BAMBA (the UK’s professional body for mindfulness teachers). Andrew continues to provide leadership consultancy (working on major projects and programmes) and brings mindfulness to workplace teams and leaders.

The post Mindful Workplace Community: Isolation vs Connection appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Mindful Workplace Community: Isolation vs Connection