There is growing awareness of the impact wellbeing has on individuals, organisations and society. We recognise there’s a lot that happens in the workplace which has an integral impact on wellbeing, be it the environment, the culture, the facilities, inclusion and acceptance, the quality of work and the leadership within the organisation. Done well, wellbeing protects both the long-term health of an organisation and its workforce, as it improves performance, culture and motivation which supports productivity and profitability. It can also reduce costs linked to absenteeism, presenteeism, disability, ill-health and staff turnover. To achieve maximum benefit from wellbeing it must be an integrated approach encompassing health and safety best practice.
Our goal is that workers thrive in a wellbeing driven environment. We believe that harnessing the skills, talents, individuality, and contribution of every employee should be at the heart of a successful business.
It involves employers, government, and society giving a true value to, and understanding of best practice in wellbeing. This will require behavioural change and a change in the national cultural mindset fit for the future workplace and economy, dispelling myths, challenging taboos around mental health and combating old fashioned attitudes. Small, but consistent good habits and promoting the tangible benefits ultimately lead to results that may seem unachievable at the outset.
It means that leadership, commitment, and accountability for health, safety and wellbeing comes from the highest levels within an organisation.
It demands true understanding and commitment by organisations to wellbeing and associated practices and measures that are appropriate, with workers actively involved in the development of an integrated health, safety and wellbeing strategy.
To ensure wellbeing is fully understood and integrated within the strategic objectives of all organisations, and their workplaces, British Safety Council is calling on national and local government, the Health and Safety Executive, businesses of all sizes, workplace charities, trade unions, professional bodies and third sector organisations to commit to our Keep Thriving manifesto:
- Organisations adopt a holistic approach to health, safety and wellbeing, focused on training people to enable prevention and avoid poor wellbeing.
- Organisations appoint an executive director responsible for wellbeing, acting as a sponsor driving change.
- Organisations actively engage employees in determining workplace wellbeing interventions that work for them.
- Organisations make wellbeing an integral part of their culture and the way that they operate, ensuring policies, practices and risks are assessed with preventive measures in place.
- Organisations provide wellbeing training to all line managers, so they have the confidence to communicate with employees with care and sensitivity and can direct employees to relevant support mechanisms.
- Monitoring and reporting of wellbeing should be made simple and integrated into an existing system and be meaningfully reviewed at the highest levels.
- Organisations evaluate the impact and efficacy of their wellbeing interventions on a regular basis, to ensure they adapt and respond to the changing needs of their workers.
- Organisations include wellbeing as part of their health, safety, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria.
Now is the time for all organisations to invest in wellbeing – there is a moral and ethical duty on all employers and leaders, the impact of not doing so has been brought into sharp focus by the global COVID pandemic, with a rising number of workers reporting that their mental as well as physical health and wellbeing, in its entirety, is suffering. This must change - the link between health, safety and wellbeing and productivity is strong and undeniable. A well worker is a productive worker.
British Safety Council is a charity and trusted leader in health, safety, wellbeing and environmental management. We have been campaigning for public benefit since being founded over 60 years ago. Our vision is that ‘no one should be injured or made ill through their work’. We live this vision and make our experience count. Through our engagement with industry, government and experts, we are leaders in assessing and advising on the changing needs of the workplace and associated risks to workers.
Thank you for supporting British Safety Council’s Keep Thriving Manifesto to ensure workers can thrive.