Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

Creating a new seat at the board … Chief Well Being Officer

By Business & Finance
14 November 2019

For employee well being to be successful, it has to be incorporated across all leadership levels in the organisation, writes Orla Brennan.

Two of the main questions candidates ask when enquiring about an organisation are, ‘What is their culture like?’ and ‘Do they have a wellness strategy?’ 

Healthier, happier and balanced employees cost less to retain and maintain in the new wellness culture we see exploding across businesses. People crave a sense of purpose, community, belonging and value in all areas of their lives. Wellness has been the driving force in employee loyalty and retention, with some organisations rewarding or subsidising employees for ‘self care’ and ‘wellness’ initiatives they include in their working lives. 

Findings have shown that:

88% of employees with higher wellbeing are engaged at work compared with 50% of employees with lower wellbeing; 98% of employees with both higher wellbeing and a higher perception that their companies support their wellbeing, state that they would like to work in the same company in a year’s time and recommend their employer as a ‘great place to work’.” – Forbes 

For employee wellness to be successful it has to be incorporated across all C-suite/manager/leader levels in the organisation. As Wellness Programmes are becoming part of every business and industry, companies now have installed Mental Health First Aid officer along with the First Aid officer; over half of a 1,000 person survey carried out by Ibec showed that employees would leave their employer if they did not seem to care about their mental health and wellbeing. Under the Wellness umbrella, corporate wellness responsibility is not just focused on our mental health, it includes, nutrition, exercise, meditation, stress management and personal projection.

Another positive to the ‘Wellness Culture’ is employment. Not only is it creating a healthier and more active society, corporate wellness is creating employment opportunities in the sector from a place at the board and influencing the business strategy and year-on-year projections. We are now seeing organisations striving for both Great Place to Work and Healthy Place to Work awards. 

Ibec have also introduced the ‘KeepWell Mark’ a workplace accreditation which allows companies to demonstrate their commitment to the health and wellbeing of all their employees.  With government and private industry alike making employee wellbeing a central focus in 2019 Ireland is keen to establish itself as one of the greatest and healthiest places to work in the world.


About the author:

Orla Brennan is a Senior Partner at Brightwater Executive. Brightwater Executive is a specialist division of the Brightwater Group, focusing on executive and senior management assignments. www.brightwater.ie