A question of balance
The gentle art of wellbeing
With social media feeds full of likes, loves and angry face emojis, it can often feel difficult to take a balanced view. Everyone seems to be furiously opposed to or deeply in favour of the issue of the day; moving on to express their deeply held point of view about the next pressing topic within the hour – spouting strong opinions at a rate of knots. Quietly weighing up the pros and cons of a problem has become deeply out of fashion. Even social media itself is either essential for a vibrant social life or the cause of teenage loneliness and anxiety. We are exposed to so many opinions, it’s hard to know what to think...
Health and Wellbeing at Work
Foundations for a healthy workplace
The CIPD Health and Wellbeing Report 2018 makes clear that promoting employee wellbeing needs to be a priority for employers. It lays out the state of UK workers’ health and wellbeing and highlights areas ripe for improvement. Understandably, but startlingly, budgetary constraints and value for money tend to have greater impact on the decision to purchase wellbeing benefits than a desire to manage identified health issues. The consequences of a piecemeal and unsystematic investment in wellness programs, however, do not justify this approach. The CIPD survey found that ‘where decisions are primarily influenced by budgetary constraints, organisations are more likely to report their wellbeing activity achieves nothing.’
Measures to improve the impact of employee wellness programs are directed towards HR professionals in this report, but it is clear that whole organisations and particularly those in positions of seniority are responsible for ensuring that working conditions improve and workers’ health is taken seriously. The CIPD report states that ‘good leadership and people management practices form the foundations of building a healthy workplace’ and identifies key insights for HR departments to act on. Among these insights are building a more robust framework to promote good mental health, strengthening the capability of line managers to address and understand employee health issues, and making a persuasive business case for investing in a healthy culture.
Focusing on one aspect of worker health, the CIPD survey highlights that though there has been a marked increase in workplaces raising awareness of mental health over the past couple of years (up from 31% in 2016 to 51% in 2018), work-related stress and mental-health-related absence are not improving. In short, ‘there remains a stubborn implementation gap between aspiration and practice.’ Some cause for optimism, however, exists in the insight that when more attention is paid to any one aspect of worker health and wellbeing, more attention is also given to the other aspects.
The best worker wellbeing results were in organisations that had stand-alone wellbeing strategies in support of their wider organisation strategy. Additionally, organisations that most effectively targeted wellbeing had a clear vision of what they were trying to achieve. All this leads to the conclusion from the CIPD report that ‘those who are widely successful approach health and well-being as part of their culture; it’s not an optional requirement but a business necessity.’
Health and Wellbeing Report Infographic: CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work
Use of Workforce Data and Trust
Responsible data strategies can increase growth
Data is useful. Data is valuable. Data is sensitive. According to a new report from Accenture, business leaders ‘will need to implement responsible workforce data strategies if they are to build the employee trust that will help generate sustained revenue growth.’ The key to creating a sustainable and positive data strategy is to ensure that it is beneficial for both the employer and the employee.
The Accenture report notes that companies that put in place responsible data strategies could see revenue growth up to 12.5% higher than that of companies that fail to adopt responsible data strategies. And encouragingly, 92% of employees are open to sharing their work data with their employer in exchange for an improvement in their productivity, their wellbeing or other benefits. The report included surveys of 10,000 workers and of 1,400 C-level executives across 13 industries in 13 countries.
Andy Young, who leads Accenture Talent & Organization practice in the UK and Ireland says, “Using workforce data can unlock value for businesses and their employees, but needs to be approached responsibly, for mutual gain and with the goal of building trust.” Accenture’s research shows that when the purpose is clear and mutually beneficial, employees are open to sharing their data with their employer. Giving the employee greater control and visibility of that data is also essential in ensuring ethical and responsible practices on the part of the employer.
Welbot Product Update
We have listened to you
On the back of customer feedback we are now offering businesses the opportunity to trial our product without the need for a credit card. You can simply request your free trial here: Free 14 Day Trial.
We are also in the middle of creating a host of new content and features based on leading University research and requests from our users. We will be updating the product over the next few months and all the updates will be available as an automatic update for paying customers.
As well as our free product trial we are now offering customers a free on-demand demo service too. If you would like us to walk you and your colleagues through the product features, and what we have pipleined for future releases, then we can set up a remote video call for you.
You can book your personal demo here: Welbot Online Demo