September 5, 2022 All Articles

Meet the Speaker: Angela Cilia, Chief People and Culture Officer, Top Shelf International

Angela Cilia is Chief People and Culture Officer at Top Shelf International and will be part of our Returning to the Workplace Differently panel discussion, live and in-person in Melbourne on day three of the Wellbeing at Work Australia & New Zealand Summit, taking place between 8-10 November and we wanted to get her thoughts before she takes to the virtual stage.

We are thrilled that you will be speaking at our Wellbeing at Work ANZ Summit in November. Our first and most important question is, how are you doing today?

Great thanks, and you?

As a leader based in the region, what are the main challenges your you are facing when it comes to employee wellbeing?

Assisting leaders in understanding that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to employee wellbeing. What is important and a priority for one person isn’t necessarily for another. It is also helping leaders and employees understand it is ok to be vulnerable it is ok to reach out for help or have an off day.

One of the other big challenges I still see on occasion is people not communicating. It is fundamental that people communicate, the wins but also opportunities through honest feedback. So much goes unsaid which creates environments that are conducive to positive wellbeing for employees.

What strategies have you seen developing in Australia & New Zealand over the past 6-12 months post pandemic to address health and wellbeing in the workplace?

The biggest one is obviously flexible working arrangements, this was already an emerging strategy, however with COVID it forced the hand of many leaders and organisations that were not quite ready, and it showed that it worked, not only for individuals but organisations. There has also been a lot more being done by organisations in the support of balancing employees physical and mental wellbeing, whether this be through mental health awareness, fitness campaigns, extra days of leave, there are many organisations really thinking outside the box here.

Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally?

I have always been an advocate for employee wellbeing. There is so much research into high performing teams and workplaces and trust and wellbeing is at the heart of this. I have personally been impacted by mental health and so I understand first hand the importance of having balance and an environment that supports wellbeing.

What are you most looking forward to about the Summit in November?

Hearing from all the amazing experts in their fields. I love learning and hearing from other people’s experiences. I always say even if there is one small piece of gold you take away it is worth it.

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

My vision for the workplace in the future is one where people genuinely care for one another, communicate openly and honestly and at the heart of it trust in those around them.

When you think about the meaning of wellbeing it is the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. Call me an eternal optimist, but I do not see why everyone can not come to work feeling this way. I understand there are stresses, deadlines, and pressures within a working environment. However, when you are in a high performing organisation there are high levels of trust, communication and support that get you through these times.

When I look back on my career, some of the most full on and stressful times were also where I felt the most psychologically safe, motivated and fulfilled and that was because of the people I worked with and the environment that was created.

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

The simple things. One of my biggest observations is that many people feel they are not heard. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We need to listen to understand, we need to listen obtain perspective, we need to listen to learn. My observation is that many organisations act on what they think, or act without taking into account the “human” element. Successful organisations are all about the “human element”. They are all about connection, communication, belonging and trust.

How has your organisation been leading the way?

We are still on our journey, there are many things we are doing that have just naturally happened, however there are things that we know we can put more structure around to make sure we get right.

Join us at the Wellbeing at Work Australia & New Zealand Summit between 8-10 November 2022 in Sydney, Melbourne and virtually and hear from Angela and over 50 expert speakers from across the world. Further details here.

Recommended Reading

2023 Workplace Mental Health Trends

The mental health and wellbeing industry talks a lot about progress. Make no mistake, we are making progress. But by focusing too much on this abstract idea, we risk overlooking […]