February 4, 2023 All Articles

Christy McGuire, Vice President of Business Solutions – America Region, Workplace Options

We are delighted to be partnering with Workplace Options for Wellbeing at Work US Summit on March 7 – March 9. We caught up with their Vice President of Business Solutions for the US Region, Christy McGuire to find out why she is so passionate about wellbeing at work and why she is looking forward to the Summit.

Hi Christy, we are thrilled that to be working together at our Wellbeing at US Summit in March. Our first question is:

What strategies have you seen developing in the region over the past 6-12 months to address health and wellbeing in the workplace?

  • In the US and around the world, a growing number of employers recognize the need to make their employees’ holistic health a top priority.
  • All our lives have been impacted by global events outside our abilities to predict and control.
  • Employers are on the front lines for helping their employees build resilience.
  • Resilience programs are now an integrated component of standard wellbeing programs.
  • Employers are seeking tools to address the psychological safety of their employees.
  • Employers are strengthening their DEI programs to ensure every employee feels seen and heard by their leadership and colleagues. 
  • Employers are utilizing highly customized training tools, such as providing Wellness Ambassador Programs.
  • Managers need specialized training so they can identify and help employees in need and guide them to available resources.

Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally?

Employee wellbeing is why our company exists.  It is the end goal of everything we deliver as a business and it is the foundation of what we must provide to our own employees, who are the very people who bring our service to life.  Understanding the importance of employee wellbeing isn’t rocket science – it is common sense.  Though, unfortunately, not always common sense universally followed by appropriate or effective action.  For my company, there is a direct causal link between the wellbeing of our employees and the bottom-line performance of our company.

  • Our holistic health impacts us all, every day, and everywhere – across countries, cultures, and communities.
  • People have a better understanding of the vital connection between physical and mental health, yet stigma remains a global barrier preventing some organizations to embrace their role of driving wellness in the workplace.

Tell us, what is your vision for the workplace of the future, in terms of employee engagement, health and wellbeing?

The pandemic was an agent of sudden and lasting transformational change to the definition of workplace, to the expectations employees have of their employers, and to the primacy of wellbeing as a central requirement for recruitment, retention, and overall operational success.  The workplace of the future, (which is already, for many of us, the workplace of the present) recognizes that ‘place’ is a construct not solely defined by physical walls, but rather by the people who work in that place.  As such, how we communicate, how we engage, how we connect needs to change – it needs to become personal and bespoke.

What areas do you think employers should be focused on over the next 12-18

As much as we might like to erase the pandemic from our collective memories, I don’t think it is possible to remove its continuing impact on most every aspect of our lives; especially, our lives at work.  Trauma specialists understand that the most harmful effects of an experienced trauma do not manifest immediately, but rather happen overtime, without warning and therefore, often without support.  As employers, we need to reject the temptation to ‘return to normal’ and embrace the reality that ‘normal’ is objective and transitory.  One way to achieve this, is to shift focus and effort towards preparing our workplace and work force for a world that sees change and volatility as a constant and not as an aberration.  In the months ahead, I believe we will see a movement towards both measuring and strengthening organizational and personal resilience as an integral part of employee wellbeing.

  • Utilizing real-time employee wellbeing data

How has your organization been leading the way?

  • Workplace Options is a leading provider of holistic wellbeing solutions for more than 75 million people around the world.
  • Our localized wellbeing services specialize in empowering organizations, in more than 200 countries and territories, to take holistic action for ensuring that their employees thrive.
  • We help more people, providing direct care with qualified, empathetic professionals anytime, anywhere.
  • WPO provides the resources of a global company while maintaining our local, personal touch.
  • WPO stands apart from its competitors because we are a true human-centered wellbeing solution.
  • Our services achieve positive outcomes because, when an individual connects to our support, they can immediately speak with an actual person.
  • Workplace Options continues to drive a transformative difference in even the most challenging of times.
  • For instance, WPO’s Rapid Response Critical Incident Team secured Ukrainian speakers to support clinical intake, as well as offer clinical sessions and critical incident delivery as soon as the war in Ukraine began.
  • We implemented more than 200 emergency hotlines and deployed critical incident specialists within Ukraine, Russia, and other locations impacted by surging refugee populations. 
  • Within 48 hours, WPO implemented both an entirely new Ukrainian answer line, as well as a new Russian answer line staffed by native speakers located outside Russia.
  • Our Subsidy teams retooled to assist in dispensing emergency relief funds to employees for several clients.

Join Christy at the Wellbeing at Work US Summit that takes place both live and in-person in New York and Silicon Valley and virtually for the wider region. Further details on the Summit can be found here.

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