Seminal HERO research demonstrates that stress and depression are two of the most costly health issues at a population level. For years the health promotion industry has responded with individualistic approaches in the form of stress management workshops and coaching; resiliency initiatives; and mindfulness programs. For individuals identified with more challenging issues, organizations often rely on referrals to employee assistance professionals and behavioral health specialists. These approaches are essential but insufficient to meet the burgeoning demands associated with contemporary challenges such as the need to create a psychologically safe work environment to foster innovation; managing downsizing and organizational change while sustaining high performance; and promoting social connection in a workforce that is increasingly global, widely dispersed, and offsite or remote.
Our challenge to HERO's Summer Think Tank attendees and special guests was to identify ways to balance individualistic approaches to addressing mental and emotional well-being with systemic approaches that address the work environment and processes.