‘Wellbeing of employees key to sustained business growth’

IMPLEMENTATION of health and wellbeing policies, are critical to the growth of organisations, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has said.
According to CIPD, organisations, which fail to implement health and wellbeing policies despite being aware of their importance, are putting employees and their business health at risk.
In a new report titled “Growing the health and wellbeing agenda: From first steps to full potential”, CIPD highlights a ‘wellbeing vacuum’ in United Kingdom workplaces, “with fewer than one in ten organisations implementing a standalone wellbeing strategy that supports the wider business goals”.
The report said the average cost of absence now stands at £554 per employee per year – “a cost that less than two-fifths of organisations regularly monitor – while wellbeing was taken into account in business decisions only to a little extent, or not at all, in 57 per cent of cases”.
The CIPD suggests that the majority of employers are more reactive than proactive in their approach to wellbeing (61 per cent), responding to persistent problems rather than predicting what health and wellbeing factors might impact the workforce in future.
According to the report, of the employees surveyed, 38 per cent reported feeling under excessive pressure at work at least once a week, with 43 per cent stating that long working hours are normal for their organisation.
CIPD President, Professor Cary Cooper
CIPD President, Professor Cary Cooper
CIPD President, Professor Cary Cooper, said: “A workforce that is well works well, but we’re still seeing far too many people doing more work than they can cope with, working long or unsociable hours, suffering from technology overload and unable to switch off. Organisations need to take better care of their people and recognise how the demands of work can affect their physical and mental health as well as their ability to perform well at work.”
He added: “The way we manage people and create cultures that enhance wellbeing are now bottom line issues. It’s high time business leaders recognise this and create cultures where wellbeing is centre stage and people are happy, healthy and committed to achieving organisational success.”
The CIPD report explained that HR professionals were in a unique position to steer the health and wellbeing agenda and ensure it is integrated into an organisation’s day-to-day operations.
It recommended HR managers convince senior management to integrate wellbeing throughout the business, adding that “This may need to start with a pilot area, or by highlighting pockets of good wellbeing practice that already exist and demonstrating the impact on employee engagement, customer service, absence levels and performance.”
The report urged HR professionals to monitor and regularly report on a range of health, employee satisfaction and organisational measures to demonstrate the need for ongoing financial commitment to health and wellbeing.
It explained that line managers should also receive training to ensure they have a clear understanding of health and wellbeing responsibilities, “the confidence and skills to implement policies and handle difficult conversations with staff in a sensitive and effective way”.
Policy adviser at the CIPD, Rachel Suff said: “To put wellbeing firmly on the business agenda, we need to change conversations around the business case for wellbeing programmes from ‘cost avoidance’ to ‘shared value creation’ and highlight what organisations stand to gain, rather than lose.”

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