In the lead up to the WayAhead Workplaces Annual Members' Forum later this month, we got in touch with our speakers to ask them their thoughts on workplace wellbeing. Here is our conversation with Emily Coppola from Medibank.
What is the most rewarding part of your work on workplace wellbeing?
I work with organisations to help them achieve a healthier, happier, more engaged workforce. Health and wellbeing is my passion, my tertiary background, and the #1 thing that makes me bounce out of bed every day! I have dedicated my career to health and am proud to have truly been able to make a difference. No two workplaces are the same, so it is incredibly rewarding to have a demonstrable health impact at scale across so many different settings.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I am very much on the move; I spend much of my time working with HR/HSE/Wellbeing teams to design wellbeing strategy. This can include diagnostics, frameworks, key focus areas, planning, solution design & delivery, and measuring impact. Our partnership model at Medibank also means I’m deeply connected in the health industry to keep abreast of new research, emerging ideas and innovative solutions. And I ramp up the intensity of my day with a lunchtime workout!
What are some of the challenges of your work?
There are still a surprising numbers of businesses and leaders who are yet to truly understand the importance of employee health. Not only do employers have a responsibility in this space; they have a great opportunity to have a positive impact, both on their people and on business performance.
What has been your best experience working on employee wellbeing initiatives and research?
I love the consultancy work I do, and have had some brilliant experiences in truly bringing wellbeing to life for our corporate partners. But I must say, I also love the work I’m involved in at Medibank, for the health and wellbeing of our own people. Medibank is an integrated healthcare company, and while the business is focused on bringing health into the Customer Experience, we’re also leading the way in bringing health into the Employee Experience.
What are the most exciting improvements in mental health in the workplace have you seen since you started working in the sector?
The number one improvement I’ve seen in the past 15 years is the way in which people talk about mental health. We still have a long way to go, and there are still people who need to join in, but the conversation is happening so we’re moving in the right direction. We’re also seeing a stronger focus in the preventative space and the use of tech, which means organisations can take a more upstream approach.
What can workplaces do to better support their employees’ wellbeing?
Firstly – start with where you’re at! Own where you are on the journey as an organisation, and start there. There are also some key elements to planning any wellbeing strategy:
- Consider the “whole employee”,
- Aim to truly embed wellbeing in the business, and
- Make it measurable.
There is an abundance of providers and solutions in the corporate health industry, so it’s also important to do your homework to find the best fit for your specific needs.
You can hear more from Emily Coppola at the WayAhead Annual Workplaces Members' Forum on Friday 22nd of July.
Non-members are welcome to attend; please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.