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Tackling Wellbeing Washing in Public Practice Accountancy

Tackling Wellbeing Washing in Public Practice Accountancy

The public practice accountancy sector has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and with this growth comes increased scrutiny on issues related to employee wellbeing. As a result, many firms have begun to invest in workplace wellness initiatives. However, it is crucial to ensure that these initiatives are not just empty gestures, but truly effective measures that promote employee wellbeing. This phenomenon, known as ‘wellbeing washing’, is becoming more prevalent in the industry. In this blog, we will discuss ways in which public practice accountancy firms can tackle wellbeing washing and create genuine change for their employees.

  1. Foster a culture of openness and support

Creating a supportive and open work environment is the first step in combating wellbeing washing. Encourage employees to speak up about their concerns and challenges and make it clear that their mental and emotional wellbeing is a priority. Regularly hold open forums, workshops, and team meetings to discuss wellbeing issues and solutions. This will help to create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns and seeking help when needed.

  1. Implement evidence-based wellbeing initiatives

When developing wellbeing programmes, it is essential to ensure that they are backed by scientific evidence. This will help to prevent wellbeing washing by ensuring that initiatives are genuinely effective in promoting employee wellbeing. Consult with mental health professionals, read up on the latest research, and consider partnering with external organisations that specialise in workplace wellbeing.

  1. Regularly review and update wellbeing programmes

To ensure that your firm’s wellbeing initiatives remain effective and relevant, it is important to conduct regular reviews and updates. This should involve gathering feedback from employees and assessing the impact of existing initiatives. Use this information to make necessary adjustments and improvements, keeping in mind that what works for one individual or team may not work for another.

  1. Invest in mental health training for management

It is essential that managers are equipped to support their team’s mental health and wellbeing. Provide mental health training to managers and team leaders, ensuring that they understand the signs of mental health issues and how to offer appropriate support. This will help to create a more compassionate and supportive working environment, where employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns with management.

  1. Ensure workload is manageable and realistic

One of the most significant causes of stress and burnout in the public practice accountancy sector is excessive workload. To promote employee wellbeing, ensure that workloads are manageable and realistic. This may involve redistributing tasks, hiring additional staff, or investing in technology that can streamline processes and reduce the burden on employees.

  1. Promote work-life balance

Encourage employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible working arrangements and discouraging excessive overtime. Ensure that employees are taking regular breaks throughout the day and using their annual leave entitlement. Supporting employees in finding a balance between their professional and personal lives will not only improve their wellbeing but will also lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.


Tackling wellbeing washing in public practice accountancy is a critical step in creating a more supportive and compassionate industry. By fostering a culture of openness, implementing evidence-based wellbeing initiatives, and promoting a healthy work-life balance, firms can genuinely improve the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. In doing so, they will not only create a more positive work environment, but also contribute to the overall success and growth of their organisation.

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