By Audrey McGibbon, Co-Author, GLWS

“Is wellbeing a fad?”

We were asked this question recently and our instinctive response was “We hope not!”. Not given how much positive change we have seen come about through the recent focus on wellbeing. But, thinking more about it, it’s a fair question. Wellbeing/wellness programs and initiatives have popped up like mushrooms all over workplaces – and in some quarters, this could feel a little like ‘jumping on the bandwagon’. But our true response is a firm no – that like many other ‘themes’ of recent times (diversity, psychological safety, even engagement), wellbeing is an essential ingredient in creating a workplace culture where people do their best work, are creative and innovative, collaborate effectively and perform sustainably at a high level to meet organisational objectives.

There probably are people within organisations addressing wellbeing as a fad, perhaps implementing a few ‘lunch ‘n’ learns’, supporting a ‘get fit’ campaign and encouraging healthy eating at work. Nothing wrong with any of that, but they are unlikely to achieve lasting change in behaviour. Or, for that matter, any of the desirable outcomes from seeing a real uplift in wellbeing – such as reduced absenteeism, increased engagement, innovation and retention, and sustainable high productivity and performance. (If you are yet to be convinced that these are the outcomes that investment in wellbeing can bring, then please ask and we can guide you to the evidence). That’s because these programs, by and large, are not very ‘sticky’ – and, without fundamental shifts in how the leadership of the organisation engages with wellbeing, are doomed to under-achieve, if not fail.

For wellbeing to stick, and for organisations to see the benefits, it needs to be embedded in the expectations and behaviour of all leaders.

Wellbeing as a core leadership capability

We all know that initiatives in organisations have to be supported from the top to stand a chance of getting off the ground, surviving and achieving their objectives. With wellbeing, we would like to see this go one stage further – indeed, we believe this is fundamental to realising the cultural shifts required to truly embed wellbeing.

It’s time to view wellbeing as an essential leadership capability.

Organisations expect leaders to have well-developed skills in people leadership, emotional intelligence, stakeholder relationships, strategic thinking, problem-solving and so on. In this day and age, shouldn’t we also expect leaders to be capable of developing wellbeing?

And by developing wellbeing, we mean:

  1. Attending to their own self-care,
  2. Attending and promoting ‘other-care’ for the people they lead,
  3. And being champions of wellbeing across their organisations.

Here is our attempt at a fuller definition of ‘enabling wellbeing’, and we offer this up as a gift to stimulate your minds on what might work in your own organisation: “Making purposeful and well-informed choices to optimise wellbeing for self and others, role-modelling wellbeing as a priority, embedding reliable disciplines and influencing positive change in the system for others.”

How your organisation can enable Wellbeing

To make wellbeing an essential skill, it needs to be documented within your organisation’s frameworks and integrated into performance reviews.

We propose you:

  1. Update your organisation’s leadership capability framework to include wellbeing as a
    clear and explicit expectation.
  2. Redesign or augment your leadership development initiatives to include leaders’ development of this capability as a core component of every leadership development program, at all levels of leadership.
  3. Build engagement in your wellbeing strategy to a point where you can set wellbeing KPIs as part of every leader’s performance targets.
  4. And finally, evaluate performance and reward leaders for their success in enabling wellbeing. After all, what gets measured, gets done. The world is changing. Leaders are under more pressure to perform and respond to rapid organisational, social and technological change than ever before. The best of the best will understand, model and uphold positive wellbeing practices in the workplace.

Leaders who role-model and prioritise the wellbeing skills and behaviours taught to them will become an organisation’s most powerful enablers of improved employee wellbeing and all the possible benefits that come with it. But it’s only strong leadership, behavioural and cultural change driven by wellbeing data that will deliver.

Speak to a PeopleScape consultant about your Wellbeing strategy today 

If you want to create a culture that is thriving and flourishing, you need to work on both Leadership AND Wellbeing together.

Since the Global Financial Crisis, there has been a steady increase in stress, bullying and harassment claims in Australia and New Zealand.

Leaders and Managers have been tasked with driving productivity and performance which is only possible if employees are held accountable. Future leaders need to be highly agile and able to deal with the highly volatile and uncertain world that is rapidly changing. This requires an ability to drive performance and also a thriving culture over the long-term. However, if managers are not properly trained, this process can leave employees feeling increasingly stressed and sometimes bullied or harassed.

Many organisations have responded by establishing Wellbeing programs that include gym memberships, fruit bowls, massages and the more sophisticated programs including psychological resilience and mindfulness training. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t deal with the true cause of the problem.

Leaders and Managers play a crucial role in creating the right environment for their people to flourish. If their approach is too heavy-handed they get compliance rather than commitment; too soft and they find it difficult to drive productivity. Leaders need to learn how to simultaneously drive better business performance through creating a culture of wellbeing.


The PeopleScape Approach

At PeopleScape we have built a program of activities designed around a 360-degree assessment tool called the PeopleScape Leading for Performance and Wellbeing Survey. This development program is designed to analyse and increase seven key characteristics that have been proven to produce sustainable performance by increasing trust and wellbeing.



  1. Build Capability & Accountability—encouraging and empowering the individual and team capability through delegation and coaching
  2. Have Purpose & Direction—helping team members understand the purpose of what they do and where they are going
  3. Are Emotionally Adaptive—showing resilience, optimism, emotional awareness and emotional flexibility
  4. Are Consistent—ensuring messages are consistent and match the leader’s behaviour so they can lead by example,  to motivate and engage their team
  5. Are Supportive—attending to the individual needs of all team members, including emotionally
  6. Are Authentic & Genuine—being transparent, honest and ‘walking the talk’
  7. Engender Trust—all of the above characteristics are dependent on the ability of leaders to demonstrate and engender trust with team members. Trust is built through a leader’s demonstration of three factors— credibility, reliability and intimacy—and is moderated by self-orientation
Contact PeopleScape today to discuss a Leading for Performance and Wellbeing program today.


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Today’s tip is about being aware of your own thinking preferences and taking a more whole brain approach to the way we work.

Whole Brain Thinking is a framework which provides a lens for improved understanding and insight. It acknowledges that different tasks require different mental processes, and different people prefer different kinds of thinking. Whole Brain Thinking helps organisations get better results when they can strategically leverage the full spectrum of thinking available.

  • Yellow: Experimental thinking exploring possibilities, the “why”, creating new ways or approaches, innovating
  • Blue: Analytical thinking exploring reasons, data, the ‘what’, the evidence
  • Green: Practical thinking focussed on making things happen, creating a plan, organising, controlling or administering
  • Red: Relational thinking focussed on expressing, emotional expression, considering impact on people and relationships

Everyone has access to all four quadrants but with varying preferences. Applying Whole Brain Thinking means being able to fully leverage one’s own preferences, stretch to other styles when necessary, and adapt to and take advantage of the preferences of those around you.


The HBDI® is a powerful psychometric assessment that defines and describes the degree to which we think in the four quadrants of the Whole Brain Model. The data helps us adapt our thinking preferences to communicate effectively, improve decision making and problem solving.

After completing the survey, the person receives a comprehensive HBDI® Profile report that includes in-depth interpretation of the results, reference material about the Whole Brain Model, comparison data, and activities for further exploration and development. PeopleScape can also develop a wide range of learning programs to best leverage Whole Brain Thinking from your team.

Contact PeopleScape today to discuss Whole Brain Thinking for your employees.

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Today’s tip is about applying a simple technique for receiving feedback that can help you use such feedback as a tool for personal growth.

For many people, receiving feedback is perceived as threatening, whether the feedback is positive or negative. This perception of threat creates a fight or flight response in our brains, resulting in irrational thoughts and behaviours, which are not useful. Yet, feedback happens all the time, both at work and at home.

Be GLAD for the feedback:

  1. GIVE THANKS. By saying thank you for the feedback, our brains automatically become receptive instead of defensive. It is also signals to the feedback giver that you are open to honest and direct feedback, both now and into the future.
  2. LISTEN actively, which is about hearing the whole message in the feedback being given. Listening actively involves appropriate body language, not interrupting and paraphrasing to confirm understanding.
  3. ASK questions to understand so that you can make an informed decision as to what to do with the feedback. Be careful of why questions. Instead of saying “why do you say that,” say “when you say I micro-manage, can you give me an example so that I am more aware of this in future?”
  4. DECIDE what to do. Once you have processed all the feedback information, you can now make an informed decision as to what to do about it. Choosing your response and action is in your locus of control.

Be GLAD to get feedback. It is one of the most important gifts you will receive on your self-development journey.


Contact PeopleScape today to discuss implementing feedback training in your organisation.

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Today’s tip is about the need to take a systems thinking approach to ensure lasing positive behaviour change occurs when you run a leadership development program.

Often we are asked to submit proposals for workshops to enhance leadership and management capabilities, without any thought around how the learning and experiences will be embedded within the organisational systems to ensure lasting positive behaviour change. Running a great workshop is really important but it’s not the end game.

The purpose of running a great workshop is to help create some new positive and lasting changes in leadership behaviours.  We know that even the best 2-day workshop on leadership and management will not create lasting changes unless it is linked to other components of the organisation’s internal systems.

In this week’s Tuesday Tip, Hayden Fricke explains some of the ways insights and learning can be enhanced through a systems approach.

Contact PeopleScape today to discuss the development of your leaders and the impact these simple but effective tools can have on your leadership development activities.

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Today’s tip will help you take the first steps of ensuring civility is a priority in your organisation.

In the fast-paced world of email, tight requirements, international conference calls, and endless meetings, it is no surprise that many employees feel under huge amounts of pressure to be able to juggle their workload and maintain a relatively stress-free work life. Heavy work demands may result in negative consequences such as reduced coworker relations and the creation of a workplace climate that is devoid of respect and dignity. Over time, such behavioural patterns can become encrypted into the norms and customs of the organisation, leading to a self-perpetuating environment of disrespect.

What does a workplace with greater incivility look like?

Workplace incivility refers to rude or discourteous behaviour than conveys disrespect towards others. Further to this, uncivil behaviours are characteristically rude, and focus on displaying a lack of
respect for others. The rates of workplace incivility are on the rise as people have less time to invest in workplace relationships.

Why Do We Need a Civil Workplace?

Proactively managing your working relationships in a positive and respectful manner will allow you to demonstrate civil behaviours towards others within the workplace. This can have profound benefits on workplace outcomes:

  • Employees from civil workplaces are able to directly focus on the tasks they need to complete free from distractions surrounding workplace conflicts
  • Employee retention – this can be important in achieving competitive advantage (as there is less cost output than there would be to replace staff)
  • Workplace Civility has been directly linked to:
    • Increases in moral
    • Greater employee commitment
    • Increased trust in management
    • Better communication
    • Increased job satisfaction

Contact PeopleScape today to discuss how to encourage a civility in your fast paced work environment.

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