Safer Highways | Organisational Wellbeing Compromised by a Lack of Understanding
Wellbeing in many organisations is being compromised by a lack of understanding of how to implement effective programmes, according to a report by the British Safety Council.
Published recently the “Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work report” supports the 2015 survey by BUPA which found that 28% of small business leaders thought their companies were too small to take employee health and wellbeing seriously.
The report also states that if organisations’ ambitions are to be achieved, with actively engaged workers benefitting from successful mental health and wellbeing strategies, the leadership of health and wellbeing must, unequivocally, come from the highest level.
Speaking in the foreword of the publication Lawrence Waterman, chair of the British Safety Council, and keynote speaker at last year’s SH Summit said,
“Too often, unlike the highly professional approach to risk assessment and risk control which has yielded improvements in preventing accidents and injuries, wellbeing efforts have been marked by a combination of real enthusiasm and commitment married to a woeful ignorance of what will, sustainably and effectively, make a difference.”
“The positivity of a moral impetus to look after each other is laudable. Yet there lies the risk that this positivity, coupled with a belief that workers who are truly “well” rather than merely not unwell will be more productive and happier at work and thus more likely to remain, could simply dissipate into incoherent programmes of free bananas
and occasional “health weeks”, offering Indian head massage and aromatherapy.”
“This review represents one of the British Safety Council’s contributions to establishing rigorous, evidence- based workplace interventions which enhance the wellbeing of everyone involved. Like the comprehensive Mates in Mind programme for mental health and wellbeing, it encourages commitment, clear thinking and effective action, not only to make our workplaces healthy and safe, but also to make a tangible impact in improving the lives of all workers.”
The report comes just weeks after Safer Highways announced that in 2019 it will carry out the sectors first comprehensive workplace wellbeing survey with the aim of providing the industry with a true reflection of its current position, challenges and a forward thinking strategy to improve mental health.