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‘The Spangle Trap’: How to improve workplace wellbeing without the resources of Google

Date and time: February 10, 2021 , 10:00am

Organised by: Norfolk Chambers of Commerce

Venue: Online event

Cost: Free


In general, managers think that improving their employees’ wellbeing is a good idea. They understand that happier workers are more productive, creative and less likely to move on, taking their valuable skills elsewhere.

Yet, many are daunted by setting up or maintaining a high-quality workplace wellbeing approach:

“We don’t have the money, space or time to set up a play area with a ping-pong table, fruit for every desk and have everyone doing yoga every day”.

High profile examples from famous companies have popularised a myth that treats and optional extras are necessary to improve worker wellbeing: what we might call ‘The Spangle Trap’. A spangle is a shiny ornament – nice to have, but only decoration on top of something else. This webinar helps you step back from the spangle trap and learn five principles for improving workplace wellbeing in ways that get to the heart of what workers value: good management, relationships, terms and conditions and appropriate support when things go wrong.

This webinar will cover:

  • Insight into the dangers of ‘the spangle trap’
  • What workers want and need
  • The 5-principles for implementing good workplace wellbeing initiatives, with explanation


  • An understanding of what makes a difference to worker wellbeing
  • The principles for implementing workplace wellbeing initiatives
  • Examples of how other businesses have done it

About the Speaker

Dr Helen Fitzhugh, Senior Research Associate and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at University of East Anglia.

Dr Helen Fitzhugh of Norwich Business School is passionate about organisations and research communication. She gathers the best academic evidence she can find on workplace wellbeing and productivity and then distils it down into practical information and resources for organisations as part of a project called the PrOPEL Hub. She draws upon work by researchers at the University of East Anglia who have been researching in this area for decades. Helen has worked across the public, private and voluntary sectors, so bring with her an understanding of how to adapt complex research findings so that they make sense to real-life workers and managers in a variety of different settings.

About University of East Anglia

Norwich Business School is the largest school in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of East Anglia, with over 1,000 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate students. With a team of more than 100 internationally recognised academics and business experts, we have a reputation for providing pioneering courses and high-quality research.

Within the school, there is a large cluster of researchers researching workplace wellbeing, including via leading the What Works Centre for Wellbeing’s recent work and learning programme. The wellbeing researchers are also involved in the PrOPEL Hub, a major new initiative designed to help boost productivity – and wellbeing – through supporting the growth of better workplaces in the UK. It involves partners from universities across the UK and the CIPD in providing practical lessons, ideas and toolkits for businesses to draw upon, all informed by the latest research and evidence.

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