Transforming Wellbeing at Work
A new report from Business in the Community, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, includes insights from EMCOR UK and other leading companies and business organisations on the measures business can take to transform wellbeing at work.
‘What if your Job was Good For You?’ describes best practices in collaborative workplaces which adopt an individual approach to job roles, focusing on relationships between employees and managers that encourage open dialogue.
The report additionally advances two calls to action for employers, building on lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic and research which reveals 41 per cent of employees developed mental health issues caused by work during the last year:1
- Treat mental health and safety with the same importance as physical health and safety
- Collaborate with colleagues to enable employees to create their own ‘good jobs’ within organisational parameters.
In January 2021, EMCOR UK launched its Mental Health Charter to encourage all employees to openly discuss mental health and wellbeing issues at work and pro-actively encourage access to the education, help and support available. The Charter was tailored to promote inclusivity and challenge stigma as well as demonstrating a commitment to decent work for all. It was built around a combination of business pledges on key areas such as promoting an open culture; active listening; curiosity and connecting with others, encouraging work-life balance and demonstrating empathy and flexibility. These values were complemented by employee pledges.
The Charter was used as a launch pad for a host of initiatives which linked back to specific collective pledges and has resulted in positive actions such as: over 150 managers and supervisors have attended resilience and mental health awareness training and the participation in the ‘This is me’ national campaign which involves wearing a green ribbon as a visual symbol of mental health support and empathy.
Following the launch of the Charter, EMCOR UK employees responded by sharing their stories and igniting conversations around mental health and created a ‘Wellbeing Pledge Tree’ where individual could make their personal commitments.
Jonathan Gawthrop, the company’s Executive Director for Wellbeing Sustainability & Assurance, explains: “This Report is an excellent guide for business leaders to take action to better support and improve mental health and wellbeing at work and we are proud to have been involved in this initiative. Our Mental Health Charter has succeeded in opening up mental health conversations and stimulating actions across our organisation and supports our purpose to create a better world at work. We have learnt that success is not based on a single initiative or action but can only be achieved when everyone is involved and we all act on our collective responsibilities.”
Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director at Business in the Community, adds: “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. I encourage businesses to publicly demonstrate your commitment to action, transform mental health and wellbeing at work.”
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 believes the pandemic has changed the nature and place of work for many of us and offers a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to reimagine ways of working and transform mental health and wellbeing at work. He says: “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 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional body for HR and people development, adds: “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.”
Endorsed and peer reviewed by the CIPD, the report was delivered in partnership with Affinity Health at Work and members of Business in the Community’s Wellbeing Leadership Team.
Visit https://www.bitc.org.uk/report/what-if-your-job-was-good-for-you/ to download your copy.