Shining a much-needed spotlight on workplace wellbeing leads

A few months ago, with a great deal of relief, I handed in my Masters research project. Having since had a chance to recover from all the weekends of hard graft, self-doubt and obsession with qualitative research methods, I can finally bear to look back over what I wrote and took away from interviewing 14 wellbeing leads who took part in my study.

In fact I feel a bit of an obligation to come back to it all and share some of the findings which came from it. For years, through my workplace wellbeing consultancy SuperWellness, I’ve worked with clients who generally fit the description of ‘wellbeing lead’. There were a number of things I’d observed over that time and one observation that jumped out at me quite strongly was that the role of wellbeing lead is pretty misunderstood. I’d even say underappreciated… and that’s why it seemed a natural way to go for me to make wellbeing leads and their experience of their role the focus of my research.

What’s it like being a wellbeing lead for an organisation? What are the challenges and the rewarding aspects of the role? What does it take to build a career as a workplace wellbeing lead? What skills are important and what characteristics do wellbeing leads have in common, if any?

Typically wellbeing leads come from a number of different professional backgrounds – HR, health and safety, occupational health, managerial or perhaps a different background entirely. Currently there’s no common certification for wellbeing leads and certainly no textbook to follow. There might be a growing body of research on wellbeing interventions, what tends to work, and what doesn’t… but very little concerning those who implement them.

And yet they are pivotal to every aspect of workplace wellbeing, starting with winning buy in at every level of the organisation, from senior leaders to colleagues. As a relatively recent focus of work life, which became more widely embraced following the massive impact of the pandemic, we still have a long way to go for workplace wellbeing to be fully accepted and understood.

So what does it take to lead workplace wellbeing for an organisation? Over the coming weeks, I’m determined to delve back into my dissertation and share some of the findings that really stood out for me.

Would you like to hear more and keep in touch?

As part of the work we’re doing at SuperWellness we are looking to create a training course and community of peers that will be truly practical and relevant for wellbeing leads. If this is something you would be interested in, please add your details to our waitlist and we’ll keep you updated.

Read my next post:

3 key barriers facing wellbeing leads


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