Australia Vario Roundtable Event: Melbourne
By Paul Garth
Vario from Pinsent Masons launched its ‘Be Well at the Top’ campaign at Locanda restaurant in Melbourne last week.
20 General and Senior Legal Counsel were selected to attend Vario leadership roundtable on the topic of wellness in the workplace. The discussion was led by moderator Anna Bagley, General Counsel at Programmed. Anna steered a lively discussion that worked its way through wellness programmes in the workplace, responses to mental health issues (be they straight forward or complex) to looking at what senior in-house leaders can do to help and inspire their staff to get access to the mental health resources offered at work, but also tactics to manage their own mental health at the top.
That was a question that took some thought and it was evident that senior leaders are concerned about, and involved heavily in, the welfare of their teams more than themselves, which has to change. Mindfulness and meditation were discussed, and executive coaches seemed to make a great difference at a couple of different workplaces.
A common theme that emerged was the need for effective communication. Communication should be encouraged and made as easy as possible. Efforts should be focussed on de-stigmatising mental health conversations, and ‘mental health champions’ must have adequate training, and support to handle the often difficult and sensitive conversations, and situations, they may be exposed to.
Individual company programs were discussed, like Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), and some had in place policies to address more complex mental health issues, like the risk of suicide. Vario discussed the Responsible Business Charter at Pinsent Masons, and the highly structured approach to common health issues affecting Australians, and therefore workforces. It was a lively discussion around balancing risk and the importance of ‘putting humanity at the heart of the business’.
Vario was proud to have hosted an event that generated so much engaged discussion. The questions left need proper answers, and will help us shape some of our upcoming events in the campaign. We hope to pull in some experts who can help navigate us to some practical, and sustainable solutions.
If you are interested in learning more about our ‘Be Well at the Top’ campaign, designed especially for GC’s and Legal Counsels to maintain and improve their wellbeing while working in their high pressure roles, please get in touch.