Quickfire with Hilary Horton

Clinical Services Director, Enspirita

Hilary provides workplace health and wellbeing services through her Lowestoft-based company Enspirita, with specialisms in health promotion, physical and psychological health, motivational speaking and complex care management.

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine, Autumn|Winter 2022

Hilary spent 25 years in the NHS rising to senior clinical nursing roles, followed by six years in HM Prison Service where she became head of women’s health. She later joined the RAF, and as a Squadron Leader commanded a medical outpost during the Iraq War.

We spent five minutes with Hilary and asked her about her role as occupational health specialist, and how she brings her experience to bear at Enspirita.

At what stage does a business owner or HR director call in Enspirita to help?

Issues around long-term sick leave and stress management, industrial disputes and employee return to work, can all create a burden on businesses. Our approach is to tackle any problems at their root, working closely with the individuals concerned as well as HR and management. Taking a proactive approach to mental health and wellbeing is as important for your bottom line as it is for your people.

Are we still feeling the impact of the pandemic in terms of approaches to work and working conditions?

We heard a lot about ‘the new normal’ as more people started working from home. What we’re hearing now is employers, in some cases, wanting staff back in the office who would much rather remain at home. It’s not so much about striking a balance between the needs of the business and the preferences of the individual, but more about finding a solution that works for everyone to create a successful and harmonious working environment.

What does inclusivity mean to you in the context of your work?

Inclusivity is importantly about equal access to opportunities, and it is also about every individual being valued and respected. Employers have to work to create an atmosphere of trust and integrity, where employees feel psychologically safe. There is also a burden upon employees to foster this culture, starting with their own approach to work. Are they having a purposeful day? Are they getting something more than a salary out of work?

You’ve had a diverse and interesting career. How do you bring your experiences to bear on your work?

In all the work situations I’ve experienced, the common thread for me has been learning through leadership. When you take a position of responsibility for other people, regardless of whether it’s in an office, a clinical situation, or a war zone, you have to look out for your team on all levels. Their physical and mental wellbeing, have a direct impact on the success of what you are all trying to achieve. Behind motivation and a sense of purpose, is the feeling of belonging, and that you are making a valued contribution to achieve common goals.

Why is the public speaking element of your business becoming more important to you?

It makes sense to me, to share my experiences with a wider audience. There is a greater awareness around mental health than ever before, both in and out of the workplace, but there is still a long way to go in terms of helping people recognise when something is wrong with themselves, or their friends and colleagues. The sooner you take action, the sooner you limit the damage and get back to living a healthy and fulfilled life.

For more information, visit www.enspirita.com

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