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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.

January 30, 2019

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Wellbeing

Wellbeing at work explored in new videos

The British Safety Council has launched a series of videos to help companies improve wellbeing in the workplace.

The videos feature government advisor and mental health campaigner, Professor Dame Carol Black, who explains improved welling in the workplace can improve productivity by up to a quarter.

The short films follow the publication of a report by the British Safety Council in December, entitled Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work, which warned wellbeing in many organisations is being compromised by a lack of understanding of how to implement effective programmes.

“We are delighted that Professor Carol Black has agreed to share her expertise with us,” said the British Safety Council’s Head of Campaigns, Matthew Holder.

“She is an authoritative voice on workplace wellbeing, which, although high on the corporate agenda, it is still perceived as ‘fluffy’ and difficult to measure.

“Her suggestions are accessible, practical and instantly actionable. We hope that together with the intelligence gathered in our Wellbeing at work report, Professor Black’s videos will become a first point-of-call reference source for companies wishing to develop a culture of wellbeing.”

The first video looks at wellbeing in the workplace: what it is, what produces it and the individual and organisation can benefit.

“You can measure wellbeing through sickness absence levels,” said Professor Black.

“You can also do this by reviewing staff turnover figures, because if staff are not content with a workplace, they leave. Additionally, you can measure engagement scores. You can also measure productivity loss, by adding presenteeism and absence levels.”

The second video specifically looks at the role of line managers in promoting wellbeing.

“You have to help them understand that supporting their staff is going to give them a more engaged and productive workforce,” said Professor Black.

“You must enable them to do this. It’s not just about putting managers on training courses, but also ensuring that they can maintain these skills and are supported by the top of the house.”

“You could incentivise them through their appraisal, which in many companies is linked to promotion and remuneration. Some organisations’ appraisals expect managers to meet certain requirements relating to the health and wellbeing of their staff. You can also incentivise managers financially.”

And in the third video, Professor Black looks at how small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can support wellbeing in the workplace.

“Many SMEs are very small and have limited resources, no occupational health and no HR function,” said Professor Back.

“Anything you’re going to offer them with regard to wellbeing has to be easily and quickly accessible. You can’t give them a large, however impressive, toolkit and expect them to read it. It has to be available online.”

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