Let’s Talk – Wellbeing
Wellbeing is a broad area of HR & OD practice – it covers ‘traditional’ HR absence management and increasingly includes mental health, financial wellbeing and mindfulness. As a field it’s been gaining attention because we increasingly understand that unhealthy workforces are less likely to be productive workforces. We are also understanding through work such as the Stevenson Farmer Report, that the scale of the challenges we face are much greater than anticipated. We must harness our collective efforts to ensure that our employees are able to ‘thrive at work’.
As the PPMA Strategic Theme Lead for Wellbeing, I am passionate about raising awareness of the key developments in the Wellbeing space. I will be ensuring we share the latest research and best practice on wellbeing; that we signpost you to others in our membership community, or our partners and sponsors to ensure that we create a fully engaged professional HR & OD community that is focused on improving the wellbeing of our workforces, partners and other key stakeholders.
The Dictionary definition of wellbeing is ‘the condition of being contented, healthy, or successful; welfare.’
PPMA supports this and broadens the definition to ‘the long-term experience of feeling positive, happy and well, physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially, in our professional and personal lives.’
Why is this theme important?
The importance of individual wellbeing both inside and outside of the workplace has been receiving growing attention over recent years. Although an individual’s wellbeing is dependent upon much in their personal life, ACAS recognise that employers have a significant influence on an individual’s sense of wellbeing and it is important that employers do more to ensure that this influence is positive.
Why this year?
In 2017, data from the Office for National Statistics reported that sickness absence rates had halved since 1993. However, the public sector continues to have the highest sickness rates despite a keen focus on wellbeing in the workplace.
Of growing concern, and perhaps indicated by the reduced sickness absence figures reported, is the trend of presenteeism – where people go to work even though they are ill.
If we do nothing then public services are at real risk of having workforces which are ill-equipped to manage their own wellbeing, personal resilience and with sickness absence levels that are not sustainable in ensuring good business performance.
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