Linked – How to spot wellbeing washing at work

Lydia hits the nail on the head with this piece. There are a lot of businesses posting on social media about their programs to help with burnout, who aren’t walking that walk.

“But also, appearing to be supportive publicly – but continuing with practices that directly impact people’s psychological health – undermines trust among workers. One in six people say their employer lost trust as a result of wellbeing washing or poor conduct, and in 10% of cases it reduced share value.”

She shares examples like having a compulsory meeting over lunch to have a speaker talk about the importance of breaks, like the lunch break you just didn’t get to take. It might sound ridiculous but I promise you, most of us have been in those meetings or something very close. Schedule a meeting but still expect you to get your full allotment of billable hours, or whatever measure of productivity you want to go with? Talk about how much you value your people taking care of themselves and disconnecting, but calling and emailing when they’re taking time off, etc. Does any of this sound familiar?

As pointed out in the link below, these types of behaviors break trust. I can’t trust leadership who doesn’t act in a way that matches the talk, and in too many cases the talk about well-being is just talk. You could say the same about diversity and inclusion and other efforts that exist mostly to appeal to customers and potential employees instead of demonstrating a true commitment to those things.

I’d also point out that it’s 2023. Talking one way about well-being and not following through on that talk with action will get talked about in public spaces, and you might find yourself wishing you had simply stayed silent. As I’ve said before, once you break trust it is hard to earn it back. If you want to talk about how much you care about the mental health of your employees you need to actually care about the mental health of your employees.

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