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29 March 2023

Wellbeing at Work is Everyone’s Responsibility

Implementing a successful wellbeing strategy is a team effort. Business Psychologist, Sarah Thum-Bonanno, explores the roles and responsibilities that each member of your team has in creating a culture of healthy performance.

Historically, the responsibility for wellbeing has sat with the HR team. However, in an increasingly complex and uncertain business landscape, and in the face of declining mental health, it is not enough for wellbeing to be just another HR initiative. Organisations need to take a strategy-led approach, and it is crucial that all levels of an organisation engage.

In this short article we take a closer look at the different roles and offer some ways forward to build genuine engagement.

People Professionals / HR

People professionals / HR are at the driving seat of an organisation’s wellbeing strategy. They build the business case and gain essential sponsorship from senior leaders. Once the wellbeing strategy is in place, they develop processes for embedding wellbeing into everyday work and drive buy-in from across the organisation.

Senior Leaders

Senior Leaders play a key role in championing employee wellbeing. They can influence the culture by role modelling healthy behaviours, and their own storytelling can break down stigma and open up the conversation on wellbeing.


According to the Wraw Resilience Survey 2022, managers account for up to 22% of employees’ wellbeing. Managers operationalise the wellbeing strategy into the day-to-day rhythm of the business.  Like senior leaders, managers set expectations for behaviour, and they can either support, or undermine, psychological safety.


Every employee has a responsibility for their own wellbeing. Some stress is beneficial for performance: it generates energy and innovation. However, it is essential that individuals monitor their levels of stress and avoid the descent into burnout. Organisations can support this by offering stress management and resilience training.

Wellbeing Champions

Wellbeing Champions play an essential role in shaping and promoting an organisation’s wellbeing strategy. As well as signposting key services and resources, they take the lead in organising campaigns and live events that put the spotlight on healthy living. They are a dedicated point of contact and provide a vital link between stakeholders and employees.

Mental Health First Aiders

Mental Health First Aiders play a critical role in promoting wellbeing within an organisation. These individuals are trained to provide initial support and guidance to employees who may be experiencing mental health challenges or distress. They are able to recognise the signs of common mental health problems, provide non-judgmental listening and support, and refer individuals to appropriate resources for further help.

What does this mean for your organisation?

A wellbeing strategy is no longer a nice-to-have. It is a strategic imperative for organisations as they navigate a complex business landscape. However, a successful strategy relies on buy-in and co-operation from all levels of the business. Here are a few key places to start:

  • Offer management training courses to build knowledge and confidence in the area of wellbeing.
  • Train a team of wellbeing champions and get them involved in shaping your wellbeing strategy.
  • Identify key stakeholders across the organisation and bring them together to build momentum for change.


Building a culture of wellbeing requires a team effort. When the whole organisation is on board, healthy performance becomes part of the DNA. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with a steady commitment and a clear strategy change will come.

To find out more about building a wellbeing strategy, download our free guide.

About the Author

SARAH THUM-BONANNO has a robust academic background in the field of psychology and has a passion for wellbeing. She has built her reputation as a highly regarded and much-loved coach and facilitator specialising in the practical application of organisational psychology.

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