Wellbeing has been rising up the agenda of senior leaders over recent years but during the past six months there has been even more of a focus on taking a people centric approach. Employee wellbeing has been at the heart of decision making and supporting individuals through these challenging times.
Here, Gemma Carter-Morris, explains how all of us have a role to play.
Traditionally this area has been driven solely by HR professionals and it has been seen as a standalone area rather than integrated into the heart of people strategy and wider organisational objectives.
As wellbeing becomes more essential for organisations to focus on to ensure not only a motivated, committed and well workforce but also a way of recruiting and retaining the best talent, it is essential that everyone within a business has a role to play in embedding a sustainable culture of wellbeing.
So, what role do individuals have to play in creating a culture of wellbeing:
- Senior leaders - leaders have a number of roles to play and are pivotal in embedding a sustainable culture of wellbeing. Leaders need to buy into and support fully a culture of wellbeing and be advocates for the organisation. Leaders also needs to lead by example, showing those within their organisation that wellbeing is important to them and that they are supporting their own physical and mental health.
- HR - HR need to develop the strategy for wellbeing based on the data and insight they have for their employees and ensuring this is a key component of the overall people strategy. HR need to influence across the organisation the benefits of supporting and investing in wellbeing and being clear on what the outcomes and impact will be.
- Managers - managers play a critical role in embedded and supporting employee wellbeing; recent research by Mckinsey and Co shows that the employee manager relationship is the more important factor in job satisfaction and the second most important determinant of employees overall wellbeing. Managers need to be trained and up-skilled in supporting employee wellbeing, having discussions around mental health, coaching skills and managing with a ‘person before employee’ approach to encourage a caring culture.
- Employees - with organisations investing more and more in this area, employees also have an important role to play in taking responsibility of their own wellbeing. Employees should actively engage in conversations and feedback on what initiatives are in place and make use of these programmes to enhance their own wellbeing.
- Wellbeing champions - wellbeing champions can be a great addition to an organisation to further support and develop this culture. The role of these individuals is to offer peer led and independent support for employees, championing the organisational vision, raising the awareness of the support that is available and signposting employees to this, As well as seeking feedback and acting as a conduit between employees and management.
Wellbeing is so much more than a series of programmes, interventions and benefits. It is an organisational commitment to their employees, a long term investment in people and a holistic and integrated approach across all strategic areas of the business. Only by involving all individuals within an organisation will this be truly embedded and significant benefits achieved.
Gemma Carter-Morris – Head of Wellbeing - Next Steps Outplacement
Gemma is a qualified wellbeing coach with over 15 years experience gained primarily within Higher Education. Gemma uses her coaching and wellbeing experience to support individuals through the outplacement process with a particular focus on them as an individual.