Could be forgiven for admitting that our wellbeing seems to be a subject in which we should all be actively engaging. Could also be said that the marketing is targeted at the reasonably well off.
But in our country (as in others) there are a majority with no voice and very few resources and are unlikely to be able to access wellbeing services and products.
It is so good that these subjects are now being seriously considered in the workplace. In well run organisations mental health and wellbeing sit in their rightful place, ensuring everyone has access. Moreover this access is independently audited. However, this is not the case everywhere, very likely for reasons of resources, including time and expertise. A business with three staff is unlikely to have the time or resources to significantly engage with workplace wellbeing.
How do my thoughts link to workplace chaplaincy?
Some of the more obvious impacts of the pandemic in our daily lives are still being experienced and will continue to affect us for some time yet. The obvious effects on the workplace are well known. What we are now seeing are the emergence of the less obvious, for example, the impact on younger employees, especially those in training, the difficulties associated with hybrid working, team building, energy, problem solving, socialising, to name a few.
Workplace Chaplains are in a good position to engage in workplace wellbeing, being able to, as someone said, ‘loiter and listen with intent’. This is not only beneficial to individual members of staff but is also useful to management as it can flag up issues, anonymously, that can be of significant benefit to the business or organisation.
During the pandemic our chaplains, apart from those working in health, fire and police services and other critical situations, just could not function as effectively as before, despite their desire to do so. Their regular presence is such an important part of how they engage. As a result we made a decision to become more digital, one of the initiatives being our successful Workplace Wellbeing Hub.
During this period we improved our mental health and wellbeing knowledge to add to the services we are able to offer, where needed, in collaboration with health and wellbeing specialists. We feel this will be a very useful resource for smaller enterprises and organisations as we find additional ways to be effective.
Another benefit of our digital activity is to present the benefits of workplace chaplaincy to a wider audience. This digital presence, being relatively new to us, is evolving and we still have lots to learn.
I’ll take this opportunity to thank every chaplain for everything they do. You are so beneficial but so often unacknowledged.
Please add the Commemoration Service at Peterborough Cathedral on 16th September to your diaries, everyone is welcome, we’d love to see you, just let Jane know so that we provide enough refreshments (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Alastair Ure Reid