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Programme - Mental Health and Wellbeing

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HR Virtual Summit 

Mental Health and Wellbeing | Impacts of change on mental health and wellbeing.

May 9th, 9 am – 1.30 pm

In the dynamic landscape of New Zealand's workforce, HR has faced (and continues to face) a myriad of unique needs and challenges. As stewards of employee wellbeing, you're tasked with navigating the impacts of change on mental health and wellbeing, while also contending with the intricate web of legal frameworks that shape our professional landscape and managing the performance of your people.

Today, we invite you to dive deep into the unique needs and challenges faced by HR in New Zealand, embarking on a quest to uncover insights that will help in your approach to mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Our experts will:

  • Provide a view on the current mental health and wellbeing landscape.
  • A look into ‘performance care’ - what it is, and it's importance in prioritizing it.
  • A look into navigating change, the psychology behind it, and exploring strategies that can be used to support change and protect well-being.
  • Advise the essential practices HR professionals must adopt to sustain themselves in a career that demands so much while offering immense rewards.
  • Delve into Mental Health and Well-being from a Legal Perspective – looking at recent case law and HR’s obligations 
  • Hear from our recent NZ HR Award Wellness Programme winners - A Case study - what it is, why it won and what impact it has had.


9.00 am          Welcome Intro – Te Radar 

9.05 am          Fostering Excellence: Performance Care in Times of Change

Sir John Kirwan or ‘JK’ | Kiwi legend, ex All-Black and Founder of Groov

Dr Fiona Crichton Science Communicator/Health Psychology Specialist/ VP & Clinical Lead at Groov

The winds of change can both propel and challenge mental health and well-being in the workplace. Discover how organisations can empower employees to achieve peak performance through a culture of genuine care. Unlike temporary wellness initiatives, "performance care" fosters sustained excellence. Join JK and Fiona for a korero as they explain the importance of why prioritizing performance care is indispensable, particularly during times of uncertainty and change.

9.45 am          Surveying the Landscape - Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Renee Jaine | Founder and Director of Thrive Lab

When it comes to mental health and wellbeing at work – what’s the big picture? What macro trends are affecting how people feel and perform, and what can HR professionals do to help people thrive?

In this evidence-based session, Renee will:

  • Identify the key trends that are impacting people’s mental health at work
  • Explore the data to see how well Kiwis are coping
  • Describe the different responses that organisations typically take, to improve mental wellbeing at work
  • Highlight the most promising interventions and approaches, to help people shift from surviving to thriving

Attendees will:

  • Gain a broader understanding of the mental health and wellbeing landscape in New Zealand
  • Learn a simple tool to categorise different health and wellbeing interventions, and assess their likely value
  • Learn which wellbeing interventions and approaches are most – and least – effective

10.15 am        Break 

10.30 am        Navigating Change: Unveiling the Impact on Mental Health and Wellbeing

Dougal Sutherland, Chief Executive, Registered Clinical Psychologist, Umbrella

Join Dougal as he discusses the impact of change management on mental health and wellbeing. What is the psychology behind change?  And how can this impact people's well-being? Dougal will unpack these questions and explore strategies that can be used to support change and protect well-being at the same time.

11.10 am        Self-Care as a Priority: The Balancing Act: Achieving Sustainable Well-being in the Human Resources profession.

Bridget Jelley, Director/Principal Psychologist at Glia

In today's rapidly evolving post-COVID landscape, HR professionals are facing unprecedented challenges, making their roles more crucial than ever before. From navigating shifting legislation to managing the remote work revolution, from addressing the phenomenon of 'quiet quitting' to grappling with labor shortages and mass layoffs, HR professionals are at the forefront of organizational adaptation and resilience-building.

In this dynamic landscape, they are also tasked with leading complex change initiatives and fostering diverse, equitable, inclusive, and belonging-focused workplaces. The demands on HR professionals are multifaceted and nuanced, requiring them to make difficult judgment calls daily.

How can we prioritize our own well-being while fulfilling the demands of our roles? What strategies are effective for individuals who dedicate themselves fully to their organizations and the people they serve? 

Bridget Jelley, a workplace psychologist, will explore the essential practices HR professionals must adopt to sustain themselves in a career that demands so much while offering immense rewards.

11.50am         Break [30 mins]

12.20 pm        Navigating Legal Landscapes            

Jessie Lapthorne, Partner in the employment and health and safety team, Duncan Cotterill

Delve into the legal frameworks that govern HR practices in New Zealand. From employment law to health and safety regulations, gain clarity on your obligations as HR professionals regarding employee mental health and wellbeing.

1.00 pm          Real-World Success Story: Exploring Excellence - Wellness Programme Award winner

Dr Megan Alderson Founding Director of The Strand Veterinarian Limited & Creative Director Vet Thrive Limited

Amy Raine MHRM, Practice Manager, The Strand Veterinarian

Explore the firsthand account of triumph and transformation with a case study from The Strand Veterinarian, the 2024 winner of the Wellness Programme Award at the recent NZ HR Awards. Discover the journey, the challenges, and the profound impact of prioritizing employee wellbeing had on their people.

 What you will learn:

  • How to get started with workplace wellness programs including:
    • clarifying your workplaces wellbeing objectives, 
    • identifying how these will link and help you achieve your wider business goals, 
    • identifying your starting point to help you understand the current gap in workplace wellbeing strategy 
    • Creating a long-term strategy and how you will close it and measure success. 
  • Committing to an employee-first approach: make creating a psychologically safe workplace your key performance indicator with all stakeholders involved, engaging, and involving your team to create the right wellbeing toolkit for your organization and celebrating the wins as you create a healthy workplace environment together.

1.30 pm          Close