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Tips for promoting employee wellbeing

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
Tips For Promoting Employee Wellbeing

Employers looking to get the most out of workers and build loyalty should be promoting positive wellbeing.

CU Health co-founder and chief executive Dr Patrick Aouad joined The HR Leader to discuss how to support stressed women and whether in-office mandates are beneficial.

HR Leader: “With women being hit harder by financial stress, what can employers do to support them?”


Dr Aouad: “For a lot of women, the competing priorities between maintaining momentum in their career and the pressures around having and raising a family, they’re prevalent … We should continue doing our best to accommodate for that in our workplaces, so that we’ve got that equity when it comes to diversity and views within an organisation.”

“We know how well companies do when women are given the opportunity, and not disadvantaged by that competing priority, to come to the table and contribute to the big ideas from a leadership and strategy level, all the way through. So, when those competing priorities really reach boiling point, there are issues around uncertainty, anxiety, mental health issues that then compounds a problem,” said Dr Aouad.

“If you’re family planning, we know that mental health issues can get in the way of that as well, because a lot of that is meant to be a joyful process. It’s not corporate time; it’s natural time. And when you’ve got work time competing with what really should be a personal journey, they really don’t gel that well together unless organisations are able to proactively allow for that to occur.”

HR Leader: “Do you think employers pushing for people to come back into the office is good or bad for the wellbeing of employees?”

Dr Aouad: “One of the core pillars of wellbeing is self-determination and autonomy. And the ability to work from home or the opportunity to work from home has come out as a really important factor in people’s sense of wellbeing.”

He continued: “There are many, many jobs where you can’t, if you’re a nurse in a hospital, you can’t work from home. If you’re in manufacturing, you can’t work from home. So, a lot of the time, I think this conversation, in a way, isolates those industries, and it’s important to acknowledge that a lot of people wish they had the opportunity to work from home but don’t, and they’ve been going in through the whole pandemic and continue to do so, and that’s an important group to acknowledge.”

“But for those that can save time from travelling, complete some more personal tasks and contribute to work with less of a mental load because they’re taking some of that load off by having that flexibility with their time, which further gives them energy and engagement, I think that’s essential,” Dr Aouad explained.

“The key question for employers and working at the office versus home is why? What are we trying to achieve? I think that if we’re trying to achieve an excellent culture that is collaborative and produces great outcomes and keeps everybody aligned, and it’s clearly demonstrable that coming into the office achieves that, and everybody acknowledges that in some way, then fine, then there’s a mandate for it.”

He added: “But I think just blindly expecting people to come back to the office because the building’s being rented and it’s an underutilised asset, and employers want to see people sitting in the chairs again, I don’t think that’s been thought through completely and probably is going to backfire if it’s not thought about.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with Dr Patrick Aouad on 9 May is below, and the original podcast article can be found here.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.