Posted by: Tamara McAllen

Posted on: .

Fantastic response to our first Construction “Wellbeing in the workplace” event!

Oakleaf Partnership hosted the first of our “Wellbeing in the workplace” events last week at The Kitty Hawk, where we were incredibly excited to welcome Charlie Rigby, CEO of the Icarus Trust as the keynote speaker. Charlie set up The Icarus Trust as a fantastic charity led organisation in 2012 in order to provide a signposting service for families in crisis as a result of addictive or obsessive behaviour. Charlie is hugely influential in the wellbeing subject and was able to give us an interesting insight into how well-being and mental health in the workplace is currently high on the agenda; predominately in industries such as Construction. The purpose of our event was to explore the wellbeing issues faced in the construction sector and the difficulties experienced in addressing these issues as an HR professional.

The construction sector has a huge role to play in influencing the well-being of their employees and the key learning points discussed include:

  • Wellbeing will mean different things to different people - What works for one organisation may be different from another due to size and scale in different construction businesses across the UK.
  • How do you adapt as an HR Professional - A few of our attendees are new to the construction space so it was useful to understand how this differs from previous creative industries they have worked in. For example, construction is a high-risk industry for health issues so how can we adapt our approach to align with this need.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of construction workers want better physical and mental wellbeing support from their employers, new research has revealed - Ensure your employees understand that there is support by making sure communication and open doors are available across all levels of the business.
  • Increase individuals wellbeing in the workplace - Organise sports activities such as football or even a game of chess to take place during lunchtime or after work - Cater for all to ensure that there is a balance of work and socialising within the workplace.
  • Who is the right point of contact in the workplace? Not just HR! Every employee should be aware of what resources are available to them, should they need to discuss a particular subject that they do not feel comfortable speaking to their line manager about.
  • Acting on the "Human" aspect of caring for people at work- It may not be yourself who is the member of staff that is responsible for the wellbeing in the workplace, however, it may be that a particular individual chooses to talk to you about it. We are all human at the end of the day!
  • Improvements need to be made - It was evident from our conversations that new, modernised and open approaches are coming through and a higher value is placed on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace in the industry. Nothing should or will be a "quick fix"!
  • What is your business doing about it? There are figures as well as personal accounts, that demonstrate the importance in wellbeing within the construction sector and the effects that it has and therefore it is imperative to put a plan into action; from small day to day changes, to a wellbeing programme within the business.

The event was a huge success with a fantastic contribution by every attendee. The construction sector is often accused of having been slow to understand and adopt the health and wellbeing agenda and it was fantastic to hear different opinions from HR Professionals within this particular sector. If you would be interested in attending the next event, please get in touch with

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