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One important question for leaders to ask


One of the most common questions we get asked is, “How do we get senior leaders to understand and lead for wellbeing?”

Our 2023 State of Workplace Wellbeing Survey uncovered a couple of key datapoints that cut to the heart of this issue.

While 66% of respondents felt that senior leaders in their organisation believed that workplace wellbeing was essential to organisational success, only 51% felt that senior leaders actively supported and enabled wellbeing. In essence, this is the difference between words and action. Adding to this, only 25% of respondents felt that their organisation had appropriate workloads.

Workload is a function of many things – resourcing, project scheduling, processes, collaboration, organisational change (such as a merger or a rebrand). The solution to addressing it isn’t as simple as ‘let’s do 20% less this year.’ In many cases, it’s about addressing work before it gets added to people’s already full plates.

So your one takeaway this week. Encourage your senior leaders, as part of every key decision, to ask one simple question: What will the impact of this decision be on the wellbeing of our people? This question puts people at the centre of business decision-making.

Recognising that a decision may negatively impact people’s wellbeing may encourage leaders to think about how they can respond. For example, they could:

  • Reprioritise or reschedule work to give teams more manageable or smoother workloads.
  • Reassign work to other parts of the organisation.
  • Add short term resource to help affected staff bear the load better.
  • Ensure adequate support (more than a token ‘here’s a phone number you can call’).

One of the best ways to address workplace wellbeing is to cut to the heart of what’s causing high workload. And including this simple question in strategic decision-making doesn’t cost any money or require any specific resource.

What drives workload in your workplace? 
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