The empathy revolution

Mental health is one of the most important topics of conversation in business for 2019, but it can be hard to know what initiatives are actually effective in the workplace. Jennifer Young talks with three New Zealand companies, NZTA, Switched On Group and Spark, about wellbeing at work and how to take steps towards creating greater change and awareness.

As someone who works in workplace wellbeing, I’ve felt a sense of hope and concern about workplace mental health over the last few years.

I’ve felt hope that many more organisations are investing in workplace wellbeing initiatives like mindfulness or resilience training. My concern lay in an uneasy sense that we’d internalised that workplace cultures are okay, but it’s the employees that are the problem. Workplace wellbeing is not about giving a Fitbit to employees and teaching deep breathing exercises while increasing their workload. Employers have a social responsibility to not be harming the people who are working within their walls.

In New What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people. As Charlotte Hoonhout, a GovTech graduate and programme advisor at NZTE shared at Festival for the Future 2019: “It’s okay if you fall apart. Tacos fall apart and we still love them.”

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