Guest: Paula Allen believes leaders should focus on mental health and wellbeing to create a high-performing workplace. Paula is the Global Leader, Research and Total Wellbeing and a Senior Vice-President at Telus Health. In this role, she manages the research agenda for Telus, which includes primary research conducted by LifeWorks, exploratory data science, research collaborations and meta-analyses. Given her focus on industry-leading research, Paula also leads LifeWorks thought leadership and co-chairs the organization’s product and innovation strategy.
Paula is also a well-recognized expert in all areas of workplace mental health, learning strategies, disability management and drug plan management. She designed and led the most comprehensive employer response to the H1N1 pandemic and is LifeWorks’s business response and resource lead for the COVID-19 pandemic. She also works directly with many of Canada’s leading organizations.
Paula is a sought-after speaker by organizations, national media and conferences for her knowledge and expertise in current issues and the future direction of health, well-being, productivity and related risk management.
Episode in a Tweet: A big misconception is that if you focus on employee mental health and well-being, you will somehow have a soft and unproductive workplace. This is categorically false. When you promote health and well-being, you give people the energy and fuel to step up to the plate and do an exceptional job.
Background: During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Paula Allen and I discuss the importance of mental health and well-being in the workplace. Paula is passionate about the current and emerging issues impacting health, productivity, and related costs, and her scope includes all areas of well-being — social, physical, financial and mental. Paula shares insights gleaned from the 2022 Mental Health Index (spoiler alert: mental health is on the decline, significantly impacting your employees and overall workplace).
Paula shares how to tell if one of your team members is struggling and what to do about it, including how to listen, ask questions, and helpfully offer support. She argues that the worst thing a leader can do is ignore mental health issues in the workplace. Paula also boldly states that one of the top ways to address a lack of productivity and engagement in the workplace is to focus on mental health and well-being. There are so many great tips and insights in this episode. Check it out and let me know what you think!
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