I have recently been talking in depth to a number of HR Leaders. These busy people want to find answers to some of their people problems. They want to find an answer quickly. They want a quick fix! They are drawn to shiny quick fixes that promise the world in terms of employee wellbeing.

Some of these leaders want their Millennial’s to be more resilient and stop having so many mental health issues.

Others want:

  • to stop people going off long term sick with stress
  • to help managers who experience mega stress dealing with the public
  • to stop spending so much time carrying out grievances caused by managers who don’t know how to manage staff wellbeing
  • to minimise distress after massive organisational change

The list goes on and on…

Important issues that cost huge amounts of misery, people wastage and result in costs to business. Ambitious goals.

More than anything these HR leaders want a quick fix to these issues. They want me, or someone else, to wave a magic wand and instantly sort all these complex challenges just like that!

Trouble is – none of these are easy fixes.

And funny enough whilst I am an expert in wellbeing I’m not a Fairy Godmother!

Those who think that the massive increase in Millennial mental health challenges can just be sorted with one easy intervention only are not just misguided – they show a complete lack of knowledge about wellbeing and mental health! They show they really do need expert help to improve their knowledge base on something as important as employee mental health and wellbeing.

To prevent Millennial mental health challenges requires intervention from childhood, probably changing the school system, and stopping young people’s exposure to technology and social media when children.  Easy! No trouble at all – it’s simple – just wave that magic wand!! If only this were the case – we could fix every human issue!

Millennials who come into the workplace already with mental health issues need organisations (and managers) that understand and support those mental health challenges. Other Millennials (like everyone else) need workplaces that look after their mental health and wellbeing. One that works to look after their wellbeing and ensure they stay well.

Other workplace wellbeing issues – stress, sickness, overwork, grievances, to name but a few are – surprise, surprise, also complex issues!

These are primarily cultural issues. They take time to understand. They take time to change. They need a combination of approaches over a period of time. They need to stay high profile. They need commitment from organisations.

If you think you can wave a magic wand for workplace wellbeing you need to be better informed! Avoid the shiny quick fixes. They won’t work!

Be aware that employees can sniff out an insincere, shiny, quick fix like a bloodhound on a trail! They know that you aren’t really bothered about doing this properly. The impact of this will be that they become more disengaged, more cynical about you and how little they feel now feel valued.

Use your money wisely. Treat your people properly.  Get an expert involved!


Adelle Shaw-Flach is Director of The Sweet Potato Consultancy – and works strategically with businesses to reduce the cost to people and business of workplace stress and mental health.

More information can be found on: www.thesweetpotatoconsultancy.com

Get in touch with me on-  adelle@thesweetpotatoconsultancy.com

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