A couple of weeks ago I attended the Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference at the NEC, badged up as ‘The UK’s largest event dedicated to improving the health, wellbeing, safety, behaviour and culture of today’s workforce’ and it was a great event. As always with these things there are far too many workshops, speakers and things you want to get too to do it all.
Leaving home at 5.15am and arriving on site at just after 8.00am was a good start to a day of interesting conversations, knowledge building and an over riding message that health and wellbeing in the workplace has never had the attention that it has now. This is partly due to the pandemic and the impact of this on us all as a whole putting this into the spotlight which can only be a good thing.
I have long supported healthy working and am a firm believer in a working culture that has clear, open and accessible processes in place to ensure ‘your people’ are supported in their roles. This doesn’t mean having rigid policies and procedures written in words that make no sense to anyone but those who have written them, it does very much depend on the type of business and how big or small it is, but it does mean that there should be something in place that says what it does and does what it says.
The conference hall was filled with organisations offering services and products that can businesses with the support of their workforce, very interesting folks with lots to offer and I had some great conversations.
It was refreshing to hear from Professor Dame Carol Black about the increased importance of occupational health services within the workforce and the role they play in health and wellbeing at work and not just to meet HSE regulations.
I really enjoyed the session with James Bolle, The Culture Builder, about ‘Creating Purpose & Values in SME’s’ and how now is the time to really put ‘your people’ first if you want to be successful in business and how your values should be lived behaviours and not just stuck up on the wall in reception. James spoke much about authentic behaviours right the way through the business and how these translate to how you treat your ‘people’ (staff) and how you treat your customers. He left us all with a really great analogy to not be ‘a duck’ (although there was a rude word in there to begin with!) and to not ‘quack down at others from the rooftop’, which will stay with me forever. James said ‘People feel most fulfilled when making progress on something that matters. People matter, Work matters.’ A culture based on a strong purpose and authentic values will create a joyful culture that ‘your people’ want to be part of.
I took so much away with me from just one day being surrounded by people who are passionate about improving health and wellbeing in the workplace, its not a new thing by any means but it is a thing that is not going away and the need to look after the health and wellbeing of our ‘people’ is a pressing one.
I’ll be bringing you more insights from the day over the next few weeks so keep an eye out.