Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has collaborated with senior business leaders and national stakeholders to produce a report identifying how employers can take action to transform wellbeing at work.
Jonathan Gawthrop, Executive Director for Wellbeing, Sustainability and Assurance with facilities management company EMCOR UK has praised the report as an excellent guide for business leaders to take action to better support and improve mental health and wellbeing at work.
Clear calls to action for employers
The What If Your Job Was Good For You? report advocates two calls to action for employers that build on lessons learnt from the pandemic:
1. Treat mental health and safety with the same importance as physical health and safety
2. Collaborate with colleagues to enable employees to create their own ‘good jobs’ within
Employees don’t expect to be physically injured at work and nor should their mental health be negatively impacted. However, the reality is that 41% of employees developed mental health issues caused by work in the last year .
A formula for news ways of working
Although work is part of the issue, good job design must be part of the solution. The organisations which thrive during this period of post-pandemic recovery will be those that put people first. The report sets out ways of working that involve a collaborative, individual approach to job roles, that focus on relationships between employees and managers that encourage open dialogue.
David Oldfield, CEO Commercial Banking, and Interim Group Chief Operating Officer, Lloyds Banking Group, and Chair of the Wellbeing Leadership Team at Business in the Community, said: “Overnight, the pandemic changed the nature and place of work for many of us and we now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine ways of working and transform mental health and wellbeing at work. Working from home, and hybrid working, have created opportunities for taking a more inclusive and individual approach that enables people to co-create their own ‘good jobs’. With the importance of listening to employee voices, mental health and safety needs to be established on a parity with physical health and safety so everyone can speak out without fear of negative consequences. I strongly urge employers to take action, and learn from each other, to leave a positive legacy from what we’ve learned in the past 15 months.”
Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development added: “We’re proud to support this important new report from BITC which highlights the need for employers to take a strategic and integrated approach to workplace wellbeing in all its forms. Commitment and visible leadership from senior leaders on health and wellbeing is key to fostering an environment where people feel fully supported and able to speak up. There is more expectation now that organisations put people first, provide good jobs together with supportive cultures and places of work, including opportunity for flexible ways of working. These are all essential in enhancing wellbeing, but also in engagement and
retention of staff and critical business outcomes including productivity. The pandemic has forced us all to focus more on people’s health and wellbeing, and we all have the opportunity to take these learnings forwards to help better working lives for all.”
Have your say
Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director at Business in the Community, concluded: “Our report is evidence based but there are still many unknowns, with the best practices around future ways of working still to be written. During this period of transition into this new era, Business in the Community is convening a collaborative movement which enables businesses to take a test and learn approach, where businesses can learn together, build knowledge and share insights to help everyone navigate the journey ahead, recognising that we can’t achieve change on our own. Publicly demonstrate your commitment to action, transform mental
health and wellbeing at work.”
Endorsed and peer reviewed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), this report was delivered in partnership with Affinity Health at Work and members of Business in the Community’s Wellbeing Leadership Team.
You can access the full report free here.
Join our virtual roundtable
I will be hosting a virtual roundtable with a select number of leaders from a range of sectors on Tuesday 27th July from 12.15pm – 13.30pm to discuss best approaches to implementing the key insights from this BITC report. Louise Aston will introduce the session to put the topic into context. If you would like to join the roundtable, please email me at [email protected].
About the author
Claire Farrow is the Global Director of Content and Programming for www.makeadifference.media and the MAD World Summit. She’s on a mission to help every employer – large, medium and small – get the insight, inspiration and contacts they need to make real impact on workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing in their organisation. She has been freelance for more than 15 years. During that time, she has had the honour of working with many leading publishers, including the New York Times.