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Not just nice to do. How health and wellbeing can give you the edge.



Not just nice to do. How health and wellbeing can give you the edge.

People are your most important asset and their most important asset is their health and wellbeing – so it makes good business sense for employers to help look after it.  

When you think of workplace health and wellbeing what do you think of? Discounted gym memberships and healthy options in the canteen? If so, it might be time to think again.

Why? Because health and wellbeing good practice encompasses issues that are much broader than healthy eating and physical fitness. From stress, security and morale to good line management and supportive teams, it also explores key people management practices that can make or break organisational resilience.

We live and work in a fast-paced, changeable environment and to compete, we need to be as responsive, productive and innovative as possible. This is why health and wellbeing is becoming increasingly important for organisations that want to achieve sustainable success and gain the edge.

 

  • Stress, depression, anxiety accounted for more than 15 million sick days, the highest in five years (ONS)
  • Almost 31 million days of work lost due to back, neck and muscle problems (ONS)
  • Long term sickness absence is estimated to cost the private sector over £4bn (CEBR 2015)
  • During 2015, UK workforces were found to be 31% less productive than those of the US and 17% less productive than the rest of the G7 countries (CEBR 2015)
  • 15% of UK organisations don’t place any focus on the mental health and wellbeing of employees (YouGov 2016)
  • 3 in 10 employees say that their company does not do anything to actively promote mental well-being in the workplace (YouGov 2016)

 

People are your most important asset and their most important asset is their health and wellbeing – so it makes good business sense for employers to help look after it.

As the CMI neatly sum it up, “a healthier workforce means employees are more motivated and productive, have higher attendance levels and return to work more quickly after episodes of ill health”.

 

So if you want to take a more proactive approach to health and wellbeing and reap the rewards for both your people and performance, here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Lead from the top: If a HWB strategy is going to work, people need to believe that senior management support it
  • Manage by objectives, not hours: Emphasise the importance of managers assessing employee performance by the achievement of objectives – not by the hours they spend in the office
  • Set up a wellbeing committee: Ask for volunteers to set up a wellbeing committee to promote initiatives, champion the wellbeing effort and encourage employee involvement
  • Support line managers: Make sure your people managers are supported to effectively identify and manage health and wellbeing issues and that they are clear on expectations and confident in where to turn for further advice. Here's our top tips for supportive management
  • Monitor and measure: Regularly monitor any programmes or initiatives to ensure they are having the desired effect. Take a long term view of investment and consider non-financial benefits too.

 

If you are looking to support the health and wellbeing of your people, you can also find out more about the Health and Wellbeing Award from Investors in People here or get in touchThe Award provides a framework to help you plan, progress and evaluate health and wellbeing activity and focuses on physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

We also have a free SlideShare that you can download to explore workplace wellbeing in more detail as well as free health and wellbeing themed breakfast events in early 2017. Book your place via our events calendar here