Posted: 13 Aug. 2019 2 min. read

Thriving – the sweet spot between mental health and the competitive edge

Can you say you are thriving at work? Do you feel you consistently feel positive?

The State of Wellbeing In Australian Workplaces Study shows that only one in five people actually thrive at work. So most of us miss out. And this means we don’t reach our potential, we feel short of high performance and so great business. 

So let’s move away from just focusing on surviving

Employee Assistance Programs, mental health first aid training, resilience workshops and RUOK day typically embodied what wellbeing in the workplace has always looked like. While these initiatives are great, and should continue to be supported, it’s now time to thrive. 

In its definition of mental health for more than a decade, the World Health Organisation describes mental health as:

‘‘A state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.’’

However it’s those organisations that focus on shaping the work, worker and workplace that actually create thriving cultures and experience significant cost savings from reduced turnover, absenteeism, presenteeism and workers’ compensation. 

This is the new world for Mental Health.

What’s good for business is also good for people 

There’s no need to spell out the obvious - that thriving people also deliver better business performance. It has been too easy to default to a minimum as opposed to aim for the best. 

When people experience positive states of mental health they are more intrinsically motivated and perform at a higher level, for longer. They also enjoy happier, socially active lives, and are less susceptible to mental or physical illness. When the mind is active, enriched and healthy, people are more flexible and respond better to change. They are more likely to be more creative, proactive and safer; as well as more committed to the organisation.

Strengths

An approach to help people focus on their strengths could involve having each team member fill out a strengths’ profile and follow it up with an action plan on how to use their strengths more in their day to day. Using our strengths at work provides us with energy and is most likely to enable a positive outlook, therefore increasing mental health and wellbeing. 

Why not?

When the best thing for your people also gives your business a competitive edge, why wouldn’t you help your people thrive?

Author

Charlotte Jameson

Charlotte Jameson

Specialist Master, Risk Advisory

Charlotte supports and coaches leaders of large organisations in effectively engaging team members to achieve a culture of safe and wellbeing mindsets and safe and wellbeing behaviours. Charlotte is instrumental in the team designing and delivering health and wellbeing initiatives. She has developed and delivered Resilience and Wellbeing programs, used a deep knowledge of Fatigue Management to write articles and an E-book on Shift-work and Sleep. Charlotte is passionate about high performance and culture change, using the latest scientific research and actual data gathered from scoping days to develop programs that were suited to the organisation’s needs.

Liam O’Neill

Liam O’Neill

Senior Manager, Risk Advisory

Liam is a purpose-driven leader and management consultant, striving to; help people, do better. Liam helps Executives and Boards shape the organisation’s culture to support people work together effectively, manage and harness risk, make responsible decisions, and thrive in the process. He has a Masters in Organisational Psychology, and applies a scientific understanding to people-related problems and opportunities faced by organisations in an exponentially changing and disruptive world.