Businesses told that culture change needed - KeepWell Summit

June 13, 2019

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today held its annual KeepWell Summit in Croke Park. The 300 businesses in attendance at this flagship event heard from industry leaders on the means by which they can embed a culture of health and wellbeing into their corporate cultures that enhances the mental, social and physical wellbeing and productivity of all employees.

Speaking at the event, bestselling author of “Better”, John Grant, warned that quick fixes will not improve employees’ mental ill-health, urging delegates to look at their overall contribution to human welfare, progress and quality of life and proposed 8 simple ways any company can make its workplace more human friendly. 

The Summit also addressed the issues of diversity, inclusion and wellness against a changing world, which goes beyond social inclusion to business performances. 
Ibec’s Kara McGann encouraged businesses to tap into a wider and more diverse talent pool which will expose them to different perspectives, ultimately adding immense value in the long term. She detailed: “We’re at an incredibly exciting time and the dynamics of our workforce are changing, but we really need to speed up the process. We’re not going to have this window of opportunity for very long, so we all have collective responsibility to make things happen faster.” 

Brent Pope, rugby commentator, mental health advocate and the Summit’s MC, stressed that companies need to make a big cultural shift towards talking frankly, and helpfully, about mental health and reminded people that “seeking help for mental health related issues is not a sign of weakness.”

Sharon Higgins, Ibec Director of Member Services, added that they are seeing a new wave of wellbeing driven by employees demanding better work-life balance. As a result, more and more Irish companies are prioritising their staff’s wellbeing and seeing the benefits directly through their ability to attract and retain talent. She commented: “We in Ibec have been supporting our members and organisations more generally as they evolve to meet these demands and of course benefit from the impact of these initiatives. Some of the key initiatives we have spearheaded and implemented include ‘National Workplace Wellbeing Day’, ‘The KeepWell Summitt’ and of course the widely acclaimed ‘KeepWell Mark’ accreditation. 

"I’m delighted to say that we have 100 companies actively enrolled with the KeepWell Mark - a testament to this shift in business culture. The interesting part now is seeing what Irish employers will do next to make the difference to the lives of the people they employ, and indeed to the wider community.” 

Davina Ramkissoon, Wellness Director at Zevo Health added: “The large turnout at this event, unthinkable four or five years ago, is a sign that businesses are starting to take workplace wellbeing and mental health more seriously.” 
Zevo Health are lead sponsors of The KeepWell Summit.