Are you putting your employees health and wellbeing at risk?

According to a recent report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Developments (CIPD), lack of heath and wellbeing policies are putting employee and business health at risk.

The ‘Growing the health and wellbeing agenda: From fist steps to full potential’ report found that fewer than one in ten organisations have implemented a standalone wellbeing strategy supporting the wider business goals.

The report also found that less that two-fifths of organisations regularly monitor the average cost of employee absence. Which according to the report currently stands at £554 per employee.

A workforce that is well, works well

One area of concern, and that has perhaps led to the high average cost of employee absence could be the lack of health and wellbeing policies in place within organisations. Could these polices create happier and healthier employees, subsequently seeing a fall in employee absence?

CIPD president, Professor Cary Cooper commented:

“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.”

Integration of health and wellbeing policies

Following on from the Growing the Health and Wellbeing Agenda report, the CIPD are recommending that HR managers convince senior management that wellbeing throughout the organisation needs to be integrated within their day-to-day operations.

The report also recommends that HR professionals start with a pilot area, or by highlighting good wellbeing that already exists, and demonstrate the positive impact this has on employee engagement and performance, customer service and of course absence levels.

As with every new programme, if you are thinking of implementing the health and wellbeing policy for your employees this should be monitored and regularly reported on to maintain successful results. If this is something you are considering, or have recently implemented we would love to hear your views on this.

Stress in the Workplace Open Discussion

Other notable report statistics included 38% of employees surveyed said they feel under excessive pressure at work at least once a week.

Our Principal Solicitor Eileen Schofield recently attended an open discussion with stress management training company, Altruist Enterprises. The topic for the open discussion was stress in the workplace.

Eileen, along with the panel looked at stress in the workplace from a variety of outlooks, including as an employee, employer and someone who provides training to employers to overcome and avoid this.

Is your approach to employee wellbeing reactive or proactive?

One in six employees suffer mental health problems. As a result of this, one in five will take will take time off, but interestingly lie about why they have taken the time off.

Could this be as a result of the taboo that surrounds mental health?

According to another member of the panel, Steven Skakel, the Non-Executive Director at NextiraOne UK. He has experienced many very talented and experienced managers who unfortunately had little experience in identifying the symptoms of mental health and how you deal with it.

Following this,, middle management were given the training they needed to identify and deal with mental health in the workplace in order to open up the discussion.

Is your current attitude towards mental health and employee wellbeing as a whole reactive rather than proactive, and could your business benefit from training to further your understanding? Ultimately, your employees are you resource and their health and wellbeing impacts on your performance as a business.

During the discussion, Eileen also spoke about how as soon as an employer becomes aware of a work related stress issues; actions need to be taking immediately. Occupational health reports will need to be run and external support from the medical professional will need to be brought in to ensure that the employee in question is taken care of.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to employee wellbeing or are considering complementing a health and wellbeing policy, contact us for support and advice. We will be happy to provide you with an initial 30-minute consultation at no cost to you

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