Key tips for positive workplace wellbeing |

We recently caught up with Alicia Collinson, Senior Associate at Thrive Law, to understand the critical aspects of employee wellbeing and mental health within organisations. Alicia shared valuable insights into common challenges faced by organisations and practical tips to overcome them. You can hear more from Alicia below.

1. What are the most common challenges that organisations face when trying to prioritise mental health and employee wellbeing?

Organisations often face challenges in gaining support from senior leadership for investing in employee wellbeing. It's crucial to highlight both the ethical motivations (just wanting to “do the right thing”) and tangible benefits, such as reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. There's also the delicate balance between performance expectations and supporting staff with mental health concerns, necessitating clear boundaries and communication.

Additionally, we’re seeing a common issue with managers overstepping boundaries when, understandably, trying to support employees’ mental health. Organisations need to clarify responsibilities around mental health support  to ensure everyone understands the difference between managerial guidance and professional therapy. Despite pressures, maintaining a focus on wellbeing initiatives is vital for fostering a happy and productive team.

2. In your experience, what are the key factors that contribute to a positive work environment and employee wellbeing?

In my view, fostering a fundamentally open culture is essential. Imagine if conversations about wellbeing and mental health were just a natural part of everyday chatter? It makes it so much easier for people to speak up when they're struggling, or things aren't going as expected. Leading from the top plays a big role in this. I'm not saying everyone in the C-suite should share their mental health journey, but little gestures like saying, "This week's been tough, so I'm going for a run, that’s my self-care" can make a big difference.

Communication is another cornerstone. Understanding how others work best and giving them the space to express their needs helps create an environment where everyone can thrive. But here's the thing: we need to be careful not to fall into the trap of toxic positivity. It's not about forcing everyone to be relentlessly positive—it's about creating a space where people can authentically express themselves without judgment. Ultimately, it's about recognising that we're all human beings with different needs and figuring out how to support each other to be our best selves.

3. How can organisations foster a sense of trust and openness among employees, encouraging them to proactively seek support for their mental health and wellbeing needs?

To create an atmosphere of trust and openness around mental health and wellbeing, organisations can take gradual steps to build a supportive environment. This starts with understanding how employees currently feel about discussions about mental health, and then using that information to move towards integrating these conversations into everyday interactions. By establishing clear policies and resources for support, employees feel empowered to seek help when needed. It's all about playing the long game, adapting communication styles over time to make discussions about mental health feel natural and comfortable. Ultimately, it's about finding solutions that fit the unique needs and goals of the organisation.

4.  What strategies or resources do you recommend for managers and leaders to support the wellbeing of their team members, especially during times of change or uncertainty?

Amidst times of change or uncertainty, managers and leaders can play a crucial role in supporting their team members' wellbeing. Prioritising effective communication helps keep everyone informed and involved, reducing anxiety and fostering a sense of belonging. Providing self-awareness and resilience training equips employees with the tools they need to navigate challenges and bounce back stronger. Additionally, leaders can leverage resources like our training programs that offer specialised support tailored to addressing mental health and wellbeing needs in the workplace.

Moreover, offering personalised resources, like wellbeing budgets, shows that their wellbeing is valued and encourages them to take proactive steps towards self-care. By nurturing a culture of support and individualised care, managers can empower their team to thrive, even in turbulent times.

5. Looking ahead, what do you see as the future trends or developments in the field of employee wellbeing, and how can organisations prepare to adapt and thrive in this evolving landscape?

There are two significant trends emerging. Firstly, there's a growing awareness and diagnosis of neurodiversity among employees. With more individuals being diagnosed with neurodivergent conditions, organisations must embrace inclusivity by understanding and accommodating diverse needs. This entails implementing necessary adjustments and providing support to create an environment where everyone can thrive. We’re actually an Acas Case Study for my own reasonable adjustments – I’m neurotypical but I live with anxiety and so we spoke to Acas about what “good practice” in adjustments look like.

Another notable trend is the generational shift in workplace expectations, particularly regarding culture and communication. Younger generations bring unique values and preferences, necessitating organisations to adapt policies and bridge intergenerational gaps. To thrive in this evolving landscape, organisations must proactively address these trends by fostering inclusivity, adapting policies, and bridging intergenerational gaps to ensure a supportive and harmonious work environment for all employees.


As we explore employee wellbeing, one point is clear: understanding individuals is key. Building trust, recognising their unique needs, experiences and perspectives and preparing for the future... it's all essential to being a good manager and keeping your team happy, supported and motivated. Embracing this human-centric approach will give you a team where everyone feels valued, supported and empowered. 

Get in touch with us today and see how our people science can boost your employee wellbeing, increase motivation and give your team the support they need.