Wellbeing at Work Conference Programme


Event Agenda

08:15 – 08:45

Registration and Networking


08:45 – 08:55

Welcome and Opening Remarks from the Chair

Neil Shah, Chief Destressing Officer, The Stress Management Society


08:55 – 09:15

Working for a fairer healthier Scotland   

NHS Scotland provides services for employees and employers including Healthy Working Lives and Fit for Work Scotland across the country. Hear the latest developments from the organisation.

Aileen Simpson, Head of Health and Work Services, NHS Health Scotland


09:15 – 09:30

Are Government Initiatives in Supporting Mental Health at Work Going Far Enough?

What should be done to put the mental health of working age people at the forefront of its priorities.

Miles Briggs MSP, Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party


09:30 – 09:55

Employee Financial Wellbeing: an Integral Part of a Wellbeing Strategy
  • What impact does worrying about money have on overall mental health?
  • How is the rise of defined contribution pensions and increasing longevity impact stress levels?
  • What role can employers can play in supporting staff with complex financial choices?
  • Strategies for helping employees to improve their financial wellbeing immediately and for the future

Asesh Sarkar, Co-Founder and CEO, Salary Finance


09:55 – 10:20

Cognitive and Social Economics at Work

For over half a century, ergonomic principles have been an integral part of Herman Miller’s products, environments, knowledge base and customer service. The purpose of this presentation is to give you an understanding of what ergonomics is, what we believe in when applying ergonomics to the design of workspaces, and how we have applied these principles to everything we do with real-life case studies.

Lillian Antonio, Senior Ergonomist, Herman Miller


10:20 – 10:45 Coffee Break


10:45 – 11:40

Panel Debate: Embedding Wellbeing into the Organisational Strategy 

  • How can HR ensure support for wellbeing initiatives from senior management?
  • Measuring the financial ROI of employee wellbeing?
  • Understanding the connection between financial metrics and employee wellbeing
  • Enabling a supportive culture through a wellbeing strategy

Gillian Pollock, Human Resources Director, Edinburgh Airport

Rowena McBlane, Group Human Resources Director, James Donaldson & Sons

Diane Vincent, Director of People and OD, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

Judith Mackinnon, Head of HR Governance, Scottish Police Authority

Fiona Fairbrother, HR Business Partner, Trinity Mirror PLC

Chaired by Neil Shah, Chief Destressing Officer, The Stress Management Society


11:40 – 12:05

Making Change Healthy for Employees

  • Targeting key workplace situations that are the source of mental ill health
  • Tackling mental ill health in times of organisational change
  • Mitigating risks to wellbeing in times of change
  • How do you change the mindset of employees that change represents an opportunity rather than a threat?

Catherine Kilfedder, Group Health Adviser, BT


12:05 – 12:35

Understanding the Factors That Affect Wellbeing at Work

  • What does the latest research tell us about the current state of mental health in the workplace?
  • What works? What are some of the way employers can tackle mental health issues amongst employees?
  • How are organizations managing employees with hidden disabilities including neurodiverse and mental health conditions?
  • What is the impact of inequality at work on mental health?

Professor Abigail Marks, Director, Centre for Research on Work & Wellbeing and Professor of Work and Employment Studies, Heriot Watt University


12.40 – 12.55

Journaling Exercise / Group Discussion

Led by Craig Ali, Director, Total Health


12:55 – 14:00    Networking lunch


14:00 – 14:20

Josh Quigley: My story

Josh is a suicide survivor and founder of The Tartan Explorer Foundation 2016. In 2016, Josh cycled 10,000 miles around Europe on his journey to happiness and his mission is now to help and inspire others on their own journey to happiness.

Josh Quigley, Founder, The Tartan Explorer Foundation


14:20 – 15:00

The State of Mental Health in Scotland

  • Addressing the state of mental health in Scotland for those of working age.

Kezia Dugdale MSP, Leader, Scottish Labour Party


15.00 – 15.25

We Thrive Survey Results Revealed followed by

Mindfulness Taster

An explanation of how mindfulness can positively impact your culture by reducing sickness and driving productivity up. A brief engaging taster of mindfulness to:

  • Share the science and case studies in the workplace
  • Guide a 3 min breathing space to experience the practice and understand how to fit into a busy schedule

Led by Craig Ali, Director, Total Health


15.25 – 15.50    Afternoon Break


15.50 – 16.35

Delegates split into two groups for interactive workshops:

Workshop 1: How to Cultivate a Psychologically Healthy Workforce

The creation of a psychologically healthy workforce goes beyond the confines of running mental health training within your organisation. In this practical, engaging and interactive workshop we will cover…

  • Lifting the lid on psychological health – What constitutes a healthy working mind
  • Exactly how to hit all parts of the wellbeing health spectrum – prevention and cure
  • Where to start when planning your wellbeing health strategy and campaigns
  • How to link your wellbeing strategy with your business strategy?
  • Ensuring your wellbeing strategy is successful, sustainable and provides return on investment
  • Ways to cultivate a working community that is open, honest and authentic when it comes to mental health and wellbeing

Led by Sara Maude, Managing Director, The Mind Solution


Workshop Two: Putting people at the heart of your business
Almost every company says ‘our people are their greatest asset’, but in practice most management activity is still top-down and derived from business KPIs, with the real people ‘issues’ being dealt with as a separate activity stream as they arise.

However, technology makes it possible to have real-time data on how people are feeling at work, and to know what they think would enable them to work better. Using this as a primary driver of management activity changes everything.

In this session we will talk about the conditions needed for people to work well, and demonstrate a practical way to understand how well the workplace is meeting those needs. We’ll show some of the real data this approach generates, and present a case study on how it is being used to improve the working experience in a UK company.
Along the way we will also show how the separate activity strands for engagement, motivation, training, wellbeing, staff retention and so on are really all part of one thing, and how a central source of data on employee experience can make all of them more efficient.

Led by Ailsa Suttie, Operations Director, Boundless by CSMA and Piers Bishop, Co-Founder, We Thrive


16:35 – 16:45

Chair’s closing remarks   

Neil Shah, Chief Destressing Officer, The Stress Management Society


16:45 – 17:30

Networking Drinks