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Wellness has risen from an afterthought in companies to a prominent issue. Businesses increasingly recognize the impact of physical and mental health in the workplace. An opportunity loss of $20 million for every 10,000 workers can be attributed to low well-being and its negative impact on performance. This amounts to a staggering global cost of up to $322 billion in employee turnover and diminished productivity as a result of burnout caused by low well-being. On the other hand, effective wellness programs leave employees seven times as likely to strongly agree that they have meaningful connections or a best friend at work, a key indicator of engagement. Mental wellness is also getting more attention as companies see the consequences of depression, stress, anxiety, and other symptoms in the workplace. Only 57 percent of employees who report moderate depression and 40 percent of those who report severe depression receive treatment to control depression symptoms. Even when programs are available, employees don’t avail themselves of them. Only about 3.5 percent of employees across the U.S. have taken advantage of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to which they have access.
Clearly, there is plenty in the wellness space for internal communicators to address, both in terms of raising awareness and moving the culture among employees as well as counseling leaders on the actions they should take through their own messages and the degree of support they offer for wellness programs.
On Thursday, May 18, four IABC Fellows gathered to discuss workplace wellness.
Jane Mitchell’s career began at the BBC in London on live TV programs. She moved on to producing award-winning films and videos for public and private sector organizations and developed groundbreaking employee engagement programs. Since 2006 when she formed her own consultancy, she now guides organizations, (some of which have experienced cultural trauma), with embedding values and ethics through understanding culture and leadership and their link to high-performing sustainable organizations. She has worked with Top 100 companies across the world, is a regular conference speaker and writer, and is a Director of two highly successful UK-based agencies. Jane has been a member of IABC since 2008 and has had the privilege of serving on local, regional, and International IABC Boards.
Leticia Narváez, ABC, is CEO and Founding Partner of Narváez Group, a consulting firm focused on Strategic Communication, Employee Engagement, Corporate Reputation, Social Responsibility and Communication Training based in Mexico City. A 30 years experienced professional, she held management top level positions at Sanofi, Merck, American Express and Ford Motor Co. among others. She builds communication bridges with the utmost excellence standards. During her career path, she has been at the forefront of divestitures, mergers and acquisitions, diversity leadership, issues and crisis management, team and leadership development, strategic planning and senior executive consulting. She has been a speaker at international forums, is co-author of several books and manuals on business communications and has written a large number of articles on the subject. Leticia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Public Relations from the Latinoamericana University, a Master Degree on Digital Communications from Cantabria University and a Postgraduate Diploma on Top Business Administration at the Panamerican Institute of Top Business Administration – IPADE-.
Angela Sinickas is the founder of Sinickas Communications, which has worked with companies, organizations, and governments in 32 countries on six continents. Her clients include 25% of the Forbes Top 100 largest global companies. Before starting her own consulting firm, she held positions from editor to vice president in for-profit and government organizations and worked as a senior consultant and practice leader at Hewitt and Mercer. She is the author of a manual, How to Measure Your Communication Programs (now in its third edition), and chapters in several books. Her 150+ articles in professional journals can be found on her website, www.sinicom.com. Her work has been recognized with 21 international-level Gold Quill Awards from IABC, plus her firm was named IABC Boutique Agency of the Year in 2015. She holds a BS degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MS in Leadership from Northeastern University.
Stacy L. Wilson, ABC helps clients get more ROI from their technology investment; specifically leveraging technology for collaboration and communication. She focuses on the people and process sides of intranets and digital workplace, including strategy, governance, usability, content, and adoption. She works for global, Fortune 1000 clients, particularly those with a lot of employees who don’t sit in front of computers; for example, industries such as mining, oil & gas, healthcare, utilities, manufacturing, etc. She is an international speaker and enthusiast of bluegrass music, hiking, food, and whiskey.
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