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Wellbeing in workplace as panacea for improved productivity

By Toyin Olasinde
28 July 2016   |   4:06 am
The need for wellbeing at workplaces has been described as a critical factor to the growth of any organisation. A report by the Charted Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) said supporting wellbeing of workers will boost employee...
Claire McCartney

Claire McCartney

The need for wellbeing at workplaces has been described as a critical factor to the growth of any organisation. A report by the Charted Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) said supporting wellbeing of workers will boost employee effectiveness and also raise productivity.

CIPD noted that organisations that are not investing in the wellbeing of their staff could be losing top talent, stressing that studies have shown that a healthy workplace and sense of wellbeing increase productivity and innovation.

Recent research carried out by the CIPD showed that one-in-six British workers experience depression, anxiety or stress in their lifetime and in England alone, 16 million sick days per year are attributed to mental ill-health, costing billions of the most important factors new hires among 18-34 year olds look for when considering job offers. A majority of millennial surveyed in a Deloitte study said they would priorities a healthy work-life balance over other benefits and would consider moving on if their wellbeing needs were not being met.

The Research Adviser, Resourcing and Talent planning, at the CIPD, Claire McCartney, said organisations, that take to facilitate, and support good mental health in the workplace is in for improved productivity among employee.

The report identified three things which organisations must always look out for early signs, promote wellbeing and support employees.In specific, concerning the watching out for early signs, the report said there are early warning sighs that an employee might be experiencing mental health issues.

It pointed out that these can become apparent in a number of different ways, and could include psychological symptoms (such as mood changes, indecision or confusion), behavioral symptoms (including withdrawal from office life, irritability, and uncharacteristic errors) and even physical symptoms (such as fatigue and appetite changes).

According to it, there may be comments from colleagues or clients about an employee acting out of character.
“Paying attention to these early signs and taking steps to investigate any issues – even if its simply asking whether the employee is feeling OK – can help to identify a problem before it develops further”, it stated.

On the promotion of wellbeing, CIPD noted that there are a number a number of practical steps that organizations can take to create an effective strategy for promoting wellbeing, such as undertaking a risk assessment of potential work-related causes of mental health issues.

According to the report, once potential risks have been identified, employers should consider developing personal mental health management plans for staff across all levels of the business, and ensure that strategy has senior management buy-in, adding that it has also become important identity training need for line managers to enable them to spot and deal with mental health issues.

In terms of supporting employees, CIPD said implementing initiatives to support staff, who may be experiencing mental health challenges could involve small and inexpensive measures, such as return to work meetings, a flexible working hours policy and social activities to help staff achieve a better work-life balance, or more wide-ranging schemes, such as buddy systems and financial support for counseling.

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