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Companies should ‘learn from their peers’ to promote wellbeing, says report

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Companies should do more to measure effectiveness of staff wellbeing initiatives, a study has found after few organisations surveyed were able to submit strong evidence of the impact of interventions on health and wellbeing outcomes.


The RAND Europe study, funded by Public Health England, looked at 117 submissions from organisations taking action to address health and wellbeing among their staff.

Mental health at work initiatives “featured strongly” and domestic violence, sleep and menopause were also all “emerging target areas for workplace interventions,” it found.

“Some interventions were able to collect data about the change in individuals’ health and wellbeing, while others focused more on perceptions and confidence in dealing with health issues, rather than direct health outcomes,” said the authors.

Report authors said that “what gets measured gets done" when it comes to wellbeing interventions in the workplace. Photograph: iStock

However, few interventions could demonstrate any positive change. “The workplace wellbeing sector appears vibrant but is still maturing in its ability to provide strong evidence for health and wellbeing outcomes,” said the authors.

They recommend that small and medium sized organisations “learn from their peers” to find approaches that match their size and aspirations.

Organisations should also “not put off” using basic evaluation tools to begin with: “what gets measured gets done.”

The report includes several case studies, including from an NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Hallam University, which the authors hope will initiate a “wider conversation” about the way organisations go about evidencing the positive health impact of their workplace health interventions.

The survey was open for five weeks in September and October 2017 and a total of 117 responses were taken forward for analysis.

Promising practices for health and wellbeing at work A review of the evidence landscape study here

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