The problem

Poor mental health in the workplace

Wellbeing is critical to an engaged, happy and productive workforce. The professional services industry is experiencing poor mental wellbeing in the workplace.

1 in 3 accountants feel stressed day-to-day.

42% of people with workplace stress consider consider resigning.

1 in 5 people have taken time off work due to feeling mentally unwell in the past 12 months

These challenges impose both moral and liability questions on employers to support employee health. However, they also create opportunities for business success. By improving employee mental wellbeing we can help employees become more productive, successful and with much lower rates of absenteeism.

The business case for addressing poor mental wellbeing is also mounting. Australian businesses incur an estimated $6.5 billion by failing to provide early intervention and support for mental wellbeing. Yet, for every dollar we spend on identifying and supporting workers with mental health conditions, businesses can tap into a 500% return in improved productivity.

Whether the issue tugs at your heart-strings or your purse strings, it's a big problem.

The solution

Wellbeing framework 

spur: was engaged to co-design a mental wellbeing framework with a diverse cross-section of employees of BDO Australia. The strategy is underpinned by  wellbeing activations with robust impact metrics and measurable outcomes.

The process


1 · Engagement

Introductory workshops with both the senior leadership team and key stakeholders across the organisation to generate understanding and buy in to the importance of the strategy.

Although the shortest phase, it is the most important in ensuring that minds are hearts are captured into the process.

2 · Research and Analysis

A continued series of human-centred design workshops with a range of stakeholders to:

  • Communicate the reality of poor mental health in the workplace
Employees mapped their daily emotions
  • Understand the current causes of poor mental wellbeing
  • Brainstorm desired “future states”
  • Discuss participants' roles in creating change
  • Understand the nuances the office’s culture and paradigms
  • Build the beginning of a shared roadmap to future BDO mental health culture
  • Understand the six ‘themes’ of wellbeing to form the spine of the strategy
  • Get buy-in of impacted stakeholders and create wellbeing ‘champions’

3 · Impact Strategy

Utilisation of the learnings from Phase One and Two to form a wellbeing strategy under each theme of wellbeing:

  • A comprehensive framework of how BDO can foster a mentally healthy workplace through a range of 30 different activations 
  • How BDO can implement this framework 
  • Contextual implementation considerations, including logistics, resourcing, time
  • How BDO can measure the effectiveness of its implementation

Additionally, the Wellbeing Strategy aligned with and leveraged the Values project produced for BDO Australia.