Wellbeing training at the heart of Covid recovery for SMEs

SMEs have disproportionately suffered from the worst excesses of Covid-19 despite Government financial lifelines. Their biggest challenge has been in retaining and managing the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees, whilst dealing with the unpredictability of the economic fallout. Those employers who have put their employees’ wellbeing first have generally fared better than those that have not.

With light at the end of the tunnel through new vaccines, there is now an opportunity for SMEs to leverage wellbeing to provide greater resilience and sustainability against future shocks. Knowing where to start and what to aim for is the biggest challenge for SMEs, as well as lacking the resources and wherewithal to plan a wellbeing framework strategy.

This is where the People Leaders’ Virtual Workplace Wellbeing Course can get your organisation off life support and on the road to recovery in 2021; there are a few places remaining on the next course starting on 7th January 2021.

Further details can be found in the attached article.

Is Workplace Financial Wellbeing The New Mantra

Listening to “Is Workplace Financial Wellbeing the New Mantra” at https://t.co/rA8JaQ40CB?amp=1.

A deep conversation with workplace financial wellbeing strategist Darren Laverty on the impact of Covid-19. Darren advises what steps employers must take to avert a looming personal debt crisis and how to create a budget for a workplace financial wellbeing programme.

This is the second podcast in a series of interviews with wellbeing practitioners and experts run by the Workplace Wellbeing Practitioners’ Forum. Further details of the Forum can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12278290/.

The Value of Occupational Health to Work – SOM & Workplace Wellbeing Practitioners Forum

Listening to “The Value of Occupational Health to Workplace Wellbeing (Special Covid-19 Release)” at https://www.buzzsprout.com/957694/3369079. In conversation with Nick Pahl, CEO of the Society of Occupational Medicine. Also on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obUNHXygAus&t=692s. Released as part of the ongoing interview series by the LinkedIn Workplace Wellbeing Practitioners Forum.

Case Study – Helping a client to ‘Shape a Better World’

We worked with a large multinational engineering consulting firm to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.

Employer Profile

  • 4,500 employees based in the UK
  • Predominantly male demographic, highly educated, average age 34
  • 3-year journey originating from a full review of their UK benefits
  • We identified wellbeing as critical to underpinning their new benefits strategy


Employees had an independence of spirit that is reflected in their work, and in their dedicated pursuit of technical excellence.

However, there was a culture of excessive working and poor life balance, which was leading to burn-outs, lost productivity and ultimately sickness absences.

The company spent a lot of money looking after and caring for their people, but they had no clear objectives, a disjointed approach and too many providers. 

People were falling through the net, becoming long term sick.

Wellbeing had become a commercial imperative - the company was keen to:

"Achieve a holistic approach to health and welling benefits that focuses on the physical and mental support of our employees".


We helped the firm to set clear aims and objectives:

Objectives: Share best practice, proactive healthcare, measure and evaluate, engage employees

And set out and delivered a series of building blocks, to deliver against these:


  • Extend education & awareness - fun and challenge
  • Introduce the Manager / Employee Health Gateway - health age calculator
  • Maintain core and voluntary health assessments - 40+, flex and Know Your Numbers


  • Extend education & awareness - fun and challenge
  • Introduce the Manager / Employee Health Gateway - health age calculator
  • Maintain core and voluntary health assessments - 40+, flex and Know Your Numbers


  • Improve sickness absence reporting
  • Maintain active case management to minimise long term sickness - early referrals and rehabilitation case conferences
  • Extend self-referral EAP and health pathways, e.g. musculoskeletal and psychological


  • Improve Income protection, EAP, financial education, flexible working and family friendly policies
  • Protect the Healthcare Plan against future medical inflation and Government legislation
  • Achieve WELL-Building certification for all UK offices

Which in turn led to a new wellbeing approach, alongside a detailed set of measurement criteria to track progress.


The programme was greeted with acclaim by the industry, with the client winning a series of accolades:


More importantly the client felt that the work had delivered significant return on their investment:

“Evan has brought about a new way of thinking and individual ownership across our region which has seen people better educated and informed about their health and wellbeing through a toolkit of information, intervention and support - leading to real bottom line savings - a win/win.“

HR Director UKMEA


For more details on the work, and to talk about how focusing on wellbeing can improve your bottom line,  contact the Wellbeing Leader on  07961 821 995.



Wellbeing Leadership is Alive & Kicking

A Wellbeing Leadership Paradigm

Glancing through Amazon recently, I noticed that there were 57,136 books with the word “leadership” in the title, but only 337 books with “wellbeing leadership”. That is not to say that the latter is by definition a separate and distinct discipline. Wellbeing in one form or another has always been integral to leadership practices. Moreover, as the practice of leadership has evolved, so has the understanding of it. We now apply modern concepts of neuroscience, evolutionary biology and behavioural economics to the study of leadership.

This is never more relevant then in today’s climate where leaders are being driven towards a still largely untapped gold mine – organisational wellbeing. Indeed, extensive global research by Gallup has shown a more rigorous focus on organisational and employee wellbeing that gains emotional, financial and competitive advantage.

This is evident from the recent inaugural Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) awards scheme where the majority of entries showed really impressive business results with their wellbeing initiatives. What proved to be a clear differentiator between the very good and exceptional entries is where leadership is firmly in the driving seat. The most striking examples are where leaders have shown that they are no less immune to the vicissitudes of life. Invariably, they display humility and self-awareness to champion a wellbeing cause, following personal and often life-changing experiences.

Distributive Wellbeing Leadership – Alive and Kicking

There are many different types of leadership, from CEOs, to senior management and then line managers, to an individual’s ability to lead on a particular project. It even applies to volunteer wellbeing “ambassadors”. All these types of leaders have different responsibilities when it comes to wellbeing. Therefore, leadership needs to be distributive in order to develop a culture that fosters wellbeing.

Ultimately, Boards need to buy in to the activity if it is to be co-ordinated and supported enough to achieve the best outcomes. They have the power to make far reaching changes, and to allocate the resources to make them happen. As mentioned above, the individual behaviour of senior management will also have a significant impact on the culture of the organisation. All leaders should demonstrate the behaviours they are advocating.  You can’t expect employees to take part in initiatives and change behaviours if the people above them aren’t doing so.

Arguably the most significant leader relationship is between employee and line manager. The line manager role includes creating the optimum environment for the performance of their team members. But line managers are generally regarded as the “squeezed middle”, where they are most vulnerable to personal wellbeing issues.  So they require support, resources and training to cultivate a positive work environment. This was one of the most impressive features of the REBA wellbeing entries.

Joining the Dots

In sum, leadership and employee wellbeing should be interwoven, in order to feed through to individual and organisational outcomes. For that reason it has to be a key strand of leadership development programmes to inculcate ‘hard-wired’ behaviours. This will not be for the faint-hearted, but it is attainable for any organisation with the vision and mind-set.

Wellbeing for Multinationals – Creating Ecosystems for Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases

A growing number of employers worldwide are starting to invest in the health and wellbeing of their employees. However, these strategies are also being developed against a growing global threat of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) brought on by famine, poverty, war, population / economic growth etc, which are affecting the future sustainability of organisations and the communities they serve. This article, which is written jointly by Aon and The Wellbeing Leader, is intended to contribute thought leadership to tackling NCDs and debate how multinationals are responding through creating wellbeing ecosystems that can be extended across different continents and countries.

An NCD is a medical condition or disease that is not caused by infectious agents (non-infectious or non-transmissible). NCDs can refer to chronic diseases which last for long periods of time and progress slowly. NCDs are the leading cause of death globally. Cardiovascular is the greatest NCD burden followed by mental health.

Therefore, a human-centric ecosystem can be propagated to some extent by multinational employers provided that it is fully accessible, inclusive, fair and non-discriminatory. It also requires a collaborative approach with the communities that multinationals serve, governments and the healthcare industry. The article explores this further in terms of the key challenges and steps to be taken in creating a wellbeing ecosystem across territories, how to measure its effectiveness and how to future-proof it against future megatrends. https://lnkd.in/eDCbH3z