Our current priorities
As theme lead I want to ensure public services come together to share learning and best practice. We need to challenge the norm, try new and innovative ideas and share both what works and what doesn’t.
We need to support each other as part of the PPMA membership community so that our workforces can benefit from what works across our respective organisations.
The wellbeing theme has strong inter-connections across the other Let’s Talk themes, most notably ‘Let’s Talk: Future Workforce’, ‘Let’s Talk: Developing our Organisations’ and ‘Let’s Talk: You’. As Strategic Theme Leads we are committed to recognising these links and providing a joined-up approach to tackling the challenges and leveraging the opportunities across our PPMA Strategic Themes.
Given the wide remit of the wellbeing theme, for 2019/20 the PPMA Board have agreed the areas for focus will be:
- Digital Wellbeing
- With greater technology such as fitbits and wellbeing apps, our employees are more aware of their wellbeing than ever before. How do we best harness this data and to what benefit?
- On the other hand, with such technology advancements the concept of ‘flexible working’ has evolved and are we truly ever switched off from the office? What has happened to work/life balance and what is the impact of that employee wellbeing?
- Mental Health & Resilience
- Mental health awareness in the workplace and our understanding of the stigma historically associated with it has progressed significantly in recent years.
- Despite this, ACAS reports that mental health accounts for 91 million lost working days each year, more than any other illness.
- We will best consider how ‘resilience’ is key to ensuring employees stay mentally well during difficult times in their lives. We recognise that for employees to be resilient we need to pay attention to our mental, financial, physical and spiritual health.
- Menopause in the Workplace
- The Department for Work and Pensions reports that the proportion of women aged 50 to 64 with jobs has risen by 50% over the past 30 years.
- Half of women quizzed in a survey by charity Wellbeing of Women said symptoms made work life worse.
- Let’s consider how we can ‘destigmatise’ the issues of menopause at work and better support our female workforce.
What are the key indicators of wellbeing?
Historically, absence and sick leave have been used as the leading metric for wellbeing. While absence can be a useful barometer of several issues, research is helping us to understand the value of other metrics such as “presenteesim,” to spot staff that may be sinking under emotional and mental workloads.
Increasingly we are understanding and better using employee voice as way to measure wellness and identify where we can make structural changes to working practices help staff manage their responsibilities both inside and out of work. Asking whether employees to say whether they would recommend your organisation as a place to work and their reasons why can reveal a wealth of useful information to improve the employee experience.
In these conditions of perma-austerity the HR & OD community needs to do more than simply measure the level of wellness in our organisation. If we are to persuade senior manager to fund and engage with wellness we need to provide them with evidence that the solutions we are proposing work and work in a sustainable way.
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