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Why ‘wellbeing champions’ are a great addition to the workplace

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
Why Wellbeing Champions Are A Great Addition To The Workplace

Wellbeing should be a top consideration for all employers. A ‘wellbeing champion’ is someone who helps with the upkeep of workplace wellbeing. The concept was discussed by The Wellbeing Lab’s co-founder, Dr Michelle McQuaid, on The HR Leader.

“A wellbeing champion is simply somebody in your organisation that cares strongly about wellbeing, not just for themselves but for other people as well. And they’re willing to use that care and commitment for wellbeing to invest a little extra energy at work to learn more about wellbeing. [They want] to help be an advocate or somebody that people can talk to in the workplace around wellbeing, to contribute to organisational wellbeing strategies or approaches,” explained Dr McQuaid.

“Were seeing more and more wellbeing champions in Australian workplaces, which I think is so exciting. And often these are people were finding who may have put their hands up in the past for things like mental first-aid training perhaps across an organisation. And thats a great place to begin.”


According to Dr McQuaid, more organisations than ever are using the wellbeing champion concept to help keep employees ‘well’. By providing training to assist these champions in caring for their colleagues, there’s more help available for those in need.

She continued: “[Organisations will] train them in mental-health first aid … If somebody wants a chat, theyre available. But they may be a little bit worried about being proactive to support wellbeing as well in the organisation just because they feel like they dont know enough, they need more training.”

Dr McQuaid says that ongoing training is crucial to the success of wellbeing champion initiatives.

“Theres always more to learn. And if we never start, we never have [a] positive impact for ourselves and others in it. And sometimes its in the practice that the most important learning happens in our experience,” Dr McQuaid said.

“So, a lot of clients we work with now, its trying to get the mental health first-aid champions off the ‘procrastination pot’ as we call it and give them some confidence around, how do we expand out not just in the reactive, but in the proactive space as well? And thats where adding some wellbeing training in and some wellbeing tools can be super important.”

By providing the training for champions, policy can then be shaped around their experiences.

Dr McQuaid commented: “The new Safe Work legislation around the psychosocial hazards actually stipulates that your mental health and wellbeing strategy in your workplace should be co-created with your people. And so, often, these champions are willing to put up their hand and be part of those conversations with you and help inform what your policies and procedures are going to look like.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with Michelle McQuaid on 11 November is below, and the original podcast article can be found here.



Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.