Whether you’re in HR, wellbeing, reward and benefits or D&I, you’ve gone above and beyond for your people this year.

So, to help you get a head start on 2022, we’ve summarised the 22 top workplace health quotes for 2021.

Throughout the year, we interviewed 22 of the UK’s top workplace health experts on The 12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast.

If you listened along, you’ll have discovered their insights, challenges, and even mistakes, from this turbulent year.

But if you haven’t had a chance to listen or if you want a reminder of some of the most quotable lines, you’ll find 22 workplace health quotes that sum up the year below.

Rob Stephenson

1. Rob Stephenson, CEO, Formscore

“Wellbeing is not a luxury, it is essential if you want to be high performing.”


2. Kathryn Kendall, Chief People Officer, Benefex

“If you look at all of the best performing organisations, they are those businesses that care for, invest in and take time for their people and I think the pandemic’s really brought that home.”


3. Daniel Shakhani, Co-founder of Salary Finance

“We need to focus on every single element of wellbeing and, fundamentally, financial wellbeing is one of those key pillars.”


4. Professor Jim McKenna, Behavioural Scientist at Leeds Beckett University

On effective wellbeing initiatives: “If you really want to be successful, design out the idea that someone has to remember to do it.”


5. Dr Allan Johnston, Psychiatrist and mental health expert for Team GB

“Mental health is on a spectrum from good mental health to mental illness.

“Therefore, we need a variety of steps to treat mental health problems – from self care to family care, primary care, secondary care and emergency care.

“We’re all somewhere on that spectrum – there’s something we can all do to improve our mental health.”


6. Paul Caudwell, Health and Wellbeing Manager, Co-op

On where to start with organisational wellbeing: “Start small, don’t do nothing, listen, respond, and be prepared to admit that you’re getting things wrong – people will respond to that authenticity.”


7. Zoe Eccleston, Health and Wellbeing Consultant, The Wellbeing Business

On wellbeing initiatives: “When you put in something because of a trend, with no basis behind it, it’s going to fail – and I’ve seen that time and time again.”


8. Harry Bliss, Co-founder and CEO, Champion Health

“We don’t want to engage the already engaged. We want to engage the disengaged.”


9. Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald, Senior Business Partner – Mental Health, Rolls-Royce

“There is a real myth that men don’t want to talk about mental health.”

“The more you tell men that ‘they don’t want to talk about mental health’, the less they will talk about it.”


10. Alice Hendy, Founder, R;pple

On suicide bereavement and her reason for creating R;pple: “I hope that there will be many sisters out there that don’t have to wake up and feel how I feel, every morning.”


11. Chris Rofe, Senior Vice President – Employee Benefits, Lockton Companies

“Before approaching the market, consider what issue you’re trying to fix, what value you’re looking to add to your workforce, so before you go into that swarm of vendors, have a really good handle on what it is you’re trying to achieve.

“Find the vendor for your issue, not the other way around.”


12. Ryan Hopkins, Global Workforce of the Future Lead, Finastra

“I’ll be honest with how I’m feeling, when I’m down or when I’m up.

“When we do this, and we bring ourselves to work, it allows others to do the same and I think leaders really need to set that tone.”


13. Sarah Restall, Senior Consultant, Wellbeing with Cari

On getting senior leadership buy in: “If you’re a head of HR or Head of Wellbeing, you want to put together a business case.

“And that wants to prove two things: that it’s the right thing to do for your people and to prove a return on investment.”


14. Sean Maywood, Mental Health First Aid Trainer, PWC

“The estimated cost of mental ill-health to UK business is put at £42million per year. But, the return on investment for the firms that do support their colleagues is £5 for every £1 spent.”


15. Jamie Broadley, Group Head of Health and Wellbeing, Serco

“It’s one of these terms that has become part of the vernacular in wellbeing, but ultimately psychological safety means: do I feel safe enough to show some of myself, to be human and to be authentic?.”


16. Dr Dwight Turner, Psychotherapist and Senior Lecturer, University of Brighton

“We don’t really prepare our student populations for that big step out into that university landscape.

“But the more we can do to support the mental health of our students from the start, the better served they will be down the line.”


17. Dan Craig, Wellbeing Lead, Champion Health

“There’s a high level of comorbidity between physical health issues and mental health issues.

“Soon we’ll appreciate that, and we’re going to start to see the outcome of targeting both things together – as opposed to one over the other.”


18. Griselda Tobogo, Entrepreneur and Diversity and Inclusion Expert

“We have no black men or women or ethnic minorities running any large companies in the UK, and that’s not something we should be comfortable with.

“It just means that some aspects of society are being left behind. And when that happens, it ultimately catches up with us further down the line.”


19. Em Stroud, Founder, Laugh. Think. Play

“We move from one conveyor belt of busyness to the next, and then we get to our performance appraisal and think: I know I’ve done loads, but I can’t remember any of it.

“For me, the most important thing to grow, is to allow yourself the space to think about incremental changes.”


19. Trenton Moss, Founder, Team Sterka

“If you have an organisation that’s really supportive of their people, where the organisation scores highly in emotional intelligence, where wellbeing is clearly important to the business, not just in words or a few documents but from the behaviours that come from leadership…

“With that in place, all other things being equal, you’re more likely to retain your team.”


20. Laura Dallas, Head of Product, Champion Health

“If you don’t listen to your employees, if you don’t listen to the user base, then how do you know what you’re doing is actually what they want? It may sound like I’m telling you to suck eggs, but it’s the step that’s often missed.”


21. Will Shorten, Learning Consultant and Associate, PeopleSmart SAS

“Wellbeing is not just a tickbox exercise. I’m genuinely going to show [my colleagues] that this is something important to me.”


22. Jack Green, Head of Performance, Champion Health

“If you thrive personally, you’re more likely to thrive professionally. It doesn’t work the other way around.”


Looking to next year

That wraps up the first year of The 12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast. Want to get involved? Join the list for next year, or nominate a colleague to speak on the podcast.