Industry Insights with ICAS: mental health and wellbeing as a strategic priority
Key ICAS figures share insights on the role leaders can play and the importance of treating staff wellbeing as a strategic business priority. Learn more and watch the video.
The Marketing Society recently held a special edition webinar as part of its Industry Insights programme.
The event was chaired by Janice Hutchinson, Director – Marketing, ICAS, and featured ICAS Member, Jonny Jacobs CA, Finance Director, Starbucks, and Geoff McDonald, Executive Director, Minds@Work.
The three shared insights from their professional and personal experiences as they outlined the role of leaders in promoting mental health and wellbeing as a strategic driver.
The importance of leadership buy-in
Janice shared her experience of helping to devise the ICAS Mental Fitness Strategy and leading the team that’s responsible for its delivery. She outlined, from her own perspective, some of what motivated ICAS towards establishing its strategy:
“I’ve seen from personal experience what friends have gone through, and some colleagues, and actually the impact of business performance can be quite significant.”
And she highlighted the importance of having leadership buy-in and being able to involve the whole of an organisation when trying to establish a successful mental health and wellbeing strategy:
“We’ve been incredibly fortunate on two fronts: one to have the support of our Chief Executive and the Executive team…and two, to have staff from right across the business working in all different areas, at all different levels of responsibility, and I think it’s that collective force that has really driven step-change.”
The return on investment
Jonny Jacobs CA, Financial Director EMEA at Starbucks and ICAS Member is an established mental-health advocate and was instrumental in shaping ICAS’ Mental Fitness Strategy.
During the session he outlined the human and financial benefits organisations can achieve through a successful wellbeing strategy:
"There is a return on investment when a business invests in mental health. There's certainly a moral argument to it, but even just the cost of poor staff-mental-health to business is huge."
We get our energy from our wellbeing
Also speaking at the event was Geoff McDonald, Executive Director, Minds@Work. Geoff, a former Global VP of Human Resources for Unilever, is now a keynote speaker, business transformation advisor and campaigner, who uses his personal insights and professional experience to inspire business leaders to embrace mental-health issues and empower their organisations to make positive change.
Geoff had advice for managers and business leaders who are considering establishing their own wellbeing strategies:
"What's important in embedding mental health as a strategic priority in business is that it's done with a deep sense of authenticity and humility."
He also shared his own experiences of low mental health and outlined in simple terms how investing in the wellbeing of staff pays dividends:
“We get our energy from our wellbeing. When we're physically healthy, mentally healthy, emotionally healthy, we perform. Energy is the critical enabler to performance. So why is the wellbeing of your people not a strategic priority?”
Watch the video
Find more resources at CA Wellbeing
At the CA Wellbeing section of icas.com you'll find more wellbeing-related articles, information and links to resources designed to help support individuals and organisations.