Is Wellbeing being Weaponized in your Workplace?

Is Wellbeing being Weaponized in your Workplace blog

Wellbeing is an area of expertise for me; from my time as an athlete, personal trainer, fitness instructor, massage therapist and in the last decade, becoming New Zealand’s lead trainer for Emotional Intelligence with RocheMartin, and a  speaker, author and facilitator, it features highly in my world and work. 

Part of my work is driven by a huge calling to support people to live their best lives, and through their leadership, also empower others to do so.

Another area of deep personal passion of mine is Agency; having ownership and accountability for your life and work.

Wellbeing, Leadership and Agency are central to my work.


There is a heightened (and well needed) focus on Wellbeing in the workplace.

Recently however, I have noticed some interesting trends start to take place with this heightened focus on wellbeing. What I am hearing is what I call “Wellbeing weaponized in the workplace”

Some examples include:

  • People threaten to leave if they feel their wellbeing is compromised.
  • Some people challenge the basics of their work or job description, saying it is affecting their wellbeing and requesting a lowering of expectations for all.
  • Others put themselves first, constantly, at the expense of stakeholders.

This is concerning behaviour and can be harmful at both an individual and organisational level if not explored.

Keeping well in the workplace requires both personal and organisational responsibility.

One cannot exist without the other.

As individuals and organisational leaders we each have a part to play in maintaining a state of wellbeing. 

Below are some questions you might find helpful to support thinking as you explore this further.


  • What am I feeling?
  • What specifically is causing this feeling? (Ask this question a few times until you get to the root cause).
  • What’s my role in this? How might I be contributing to my lack of wellbeing? 
  • What do I need to do differently/take ownership of?
  • What do I need? How does this fit with my current job description?
  • Who do I need to speak with? 
  • How can I communicate my needs in a manner that moves things forward collaboratively? Do I need someone to support me to have this conversation?


  • What are the wellbeing needs of our people?
  • What support do we have in place for our people and their needs?
  • Are these supports individually-based, such as counselling, or do they also look at the organisational systems, structures and processes that may be causing stress?
  • What are our processes for support when a need is raised?
  • How well are we listening; really listening to our people?
  • What questions are we asking to determine the root of the issue?
  • What are our review processes and how often do we review them? Who do we ask?
  • What are we doing with the information we find?


PS: I know this post will create some discussion and potentially strong feelings. Debate is healthy. Please keep it professional. 🙂

7 ways to become a more Emotionally Intelligent Leader Download

Want to know the 7 ways to become a more Emotionally Intelligent Leader?

Need a speaker?

There are plenty of speakers to choose from. I am not the norm. You won’t be bored to tears by the same ole’ approach and dribble. How about bringing Mary-Anne for the conference or all-staff day.

Give me a stage and I’ll own it. Give me a room and I’ll energise it. Give me your people and I’ll inform and inspire them. 

Need virtual delivery – no sweat! I have facilitated virtual full and half-day workshops, virtual keynote speaking at online conferences, and might I say, you still get the Mary-Anne goodness you deserve!

More details here


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Mary-Anne

I want to help you and your organisation.
Tell me what you need, and I’ll be in touch real soon.

Yeah, you're ready to Level-Up your Leadership

Enter your details and we'll be in touch when new dates are announced.