Health and well-being: Confident leaders

What it was

Half-day session on health and well-being for senior leaders, delivered by Bailey & French at the BEIS conference centre, London on 21 November 2018.

What I learned

Mental health accounts for 25% of MOD civilian sickness absence
Reflecting on three positive things from your work day at the end of the day for two weeks has been shown to have a positive effect on wellbeing months later
A simple model for wellbeing is PERMA (prof Martin Seligman,

  • Positive emotions
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment

Each of these is measurable and teachable.
Lots of work done has been done to address mental illness, but less effort on mental wellbeing, which can be thought of as getting people from the middle of the scale to the top, rather than from the bottom to the middle.

As a group we reflected on times when we had felt well-being along the lines of the PERMA headings, what had enabled this, and how we could help create this for our own teams.

I reflected on how a programme re-prioritisation exercise with one of my teams had left both them and me feeling empowered, better able to perform, more motivated, and less stressed about the amount work.

What I will aim to do differently as a result

I’ll aim to do something from each part of the PERMA model.

  • Positive emotions: Reflect on three positive things from your work day
  • Engagement: Set aside time for a flow activity and with the team
  • Relationships: Set up more coffee meetings with senior colleagues
  • Meaning: Set context, show the outcome even if intangible, phrase achievement as outcomes. Create meaning for the team.
  • Accomplishment: Have a good system for non financial reward and recognition with the team, find out ways to set this up.