The start of a new year brings a renewed sense of optimism which many feel within their working lives, organisations would do well to adopt this as we look to make 2022 a year that is better than the last!
Many companies both large and small will be revisiting their health and safety strategies to try and find areas for improvement, and the way we manage well-being has fundamentally shifted since the advent of truly remote working with organisations.
Here we take a look at how you can kick start your health and well-being strategy in 2022 to give your employees the support they need and deserve!
Go beyond ‘bananas and bikes’ policies
Banana and bike policies refer to smaller initiatives such as free fruit at work and cycle to work schemes which whilst well-intentioned and helpful, do not accomplish much unless they are part of a wider well-being strategy in the health and safety sphere. Make sure that policies like this fit in the bigger picture with mental health first aiders and other policies to ensure your wider well-being strategy is future proof.
Address absenteeism at work
Absenteeism at work is a big issue. It occurs when workers do not attend work, think sick days when an illness is not present. Whilst you should not conduct a ‘witch hunt’ to find employees who are not working, you should monitor the situation as it is usually an indicator of poor well-being and will be seriously impacting business performance.
Address presenteeism at work
Whilst absenteeism is a big issue, so too is presenteeism. This is where workers are struggling through the working day or shift when really they should be at home recovering from illness or issue, be it physical or mental. This can be a big issue if your company lacks proper procedures around sick days and compensation for them.
Try and improve health literacy, both physical and mental
One of the cornerstones of your well-being policy should be health literacy, Whilst you should not try and patronise employees, you should try to educate them on how to work safely and manage their own personal health. It is the organisation’s responsibility to look after well-being when workers are at work, and this duty of care should be considered when looking at your wider safety policy.
To find out more about how to create a robust well-being policy, take a look at our podcast with Kate Field of the BSI Group which breaks down the new framework around managing well-being in the workplace.
Make sure you develop a holistic strategy
When it comes to well-being you do not want to put a plaster over a severed limb, and developing a holistic strategy that incorporates both preventative measures against burnout and managing well-being when things do not go right will help to improve the working attitudes and conditions of all employees.
If the work that employees are doing is fundamentally stressful, try and analyse why that is and how it can be improved. This will take the pressure off your more visible health and well-being policies and give them a chance to really shine.