Interview – Gerard Beven, EAP/Workplace Wellbeing Professional, Assure Programs

Assure Programs Gerard BevenGerard has nearly 20 years’ experience working with many of Australia’s leading organisations in the management of their workplace wellbeing programs. He is responsible for building strong long-term partnerships with Assure’s customers, and for ensuring our high standards of service.

Gerard embraces Assure’s focus on integrating innovation with clinical best practice, to support organisations in building their wellbeing culture and in creating engaged, healthy and high-performing workplaces

What do you feel are the biggest challenges Health, Safety & Wellbeing leaders are currently faced with within their business?

Understanding the difference between mental health and mental illness, continuing to recognise signs and symptoms of mental ill-health, understanding how to have authentic conversations with colleagues and how to increase participation in effective support services.

As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health, Safety & Wellbeing strategy?

Understanding the immense value an effective psychological services partner can play in supporting the systemic health and safety of a business, including preventative and proactive support. Too many organisations have a fragmented approach to organisational wellbeing that dilutes their strategy and diminishes their return on investment.

What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?
The continued use of evidence-based technology to offer scalable solutions and to remove barriers for accessing support programs.

Investment in bespoke training programs to mitigate serious and/or emerging psychosocial risks.

Evidence of program effectiveness and return on investment.

Rebranding EAP to a name that:

  • encompasses the breadth of support available across the mental health continuum
  • aligns with an organisation’s vision and values

What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?

I have the privilege of working with so many organisations in an area that is essential to their bottom line i.e. the wellbeing of their people. I have observed many cultures within these organisations and I always reflect on the fact that this culture is driven by its leaders. The best advice I’ve been given is to simply lead by example – set the standards and don’t ask anyone to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself.

What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?

A greater understanding of the value of a quality, proactive and holistic EAP/Organisational Development partner and that the incorporation of the right psychological support programs can have a profound positive impact on the entire culture of an organisation.

I hope that delegates promote Assure’s psychosocial risk assessment tool to their teams so that they have greater clarity on their risks and I hope that delegates engage with their EAP service provider on how they can partner with them more closely.