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Why Investing in Employee Wellbeing and Resilience Should Be on Your To-Do List

on Friday, 13 July 2018.

Employee wellbeing and resilience are hot topics in HR right now. Why should it be a priority for your school or academy trust?

Here are some tips on how to get started or progress on your school/academy trust's wellbeing journey.

What Is Wellbeing?

Essentially wellbeing is about creating a state of contentment where individuals can flourish*. Resilience is about an individual's 'bouncebackability' and developing resilient employees is likely to feed into a wellbeing agenda.

Historically, wellbeing has focussed on safe working practices or management of ill-health. But more recently, a much more holistic view of employee wellbeing has developed.

Sitting alongside this, there has been much more of a focus on employee mental health, given the escalating numbers of employees suffering with poor mental health and the evidential links between poor mental health and poor work outcomes. This is highlighted in the government's recent review undertaken by Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, which places responsibility on employers (along with other stakeholders) to take greater responsibility for employee mental health. In particular, Stevenson and Farmer recommended that all employers, regardless of size, should implement mental health core standards in their business. 

If this isn't enough to persuade you that employee wellbeing should be high on your agenda, there is growing evidence to suggest that investing in this area produces measureable returns in the shape of more productive employees and lower sickness absence as well as making your organisation a great place to work.

What Can You Do to Improve Wellbeing?

Whilst a number of organisations have some wellbeing initiatives already in place, the evidence shows that wellbeing programmes will be most successful where they are central to the workplace. So where should you start? 

  1. Get buy in at a senior level. Your senior leaders set the tone and lead by example.

  2. Identify what will work for your school/academy trust. No two workplaces are the same and what is important to one workforce might not be to another. Speak to employees via employee forums, wider meetings with staff or surveys to drill down into the details of what initiatives might work best. Look into whether there are any recognised wellbeing initiatives that might be useful.

  3. Prioritise. Are there any quick wins you can introduce? Certain initiatives may be cheaper and easier to implement - get moving with these and then move onto the trickier, longer term projects.

  4. Keep wellbeing on the agenda. Don't just tick it off the list and move on. Keep the conversation alive by continuing to publicise what you are doing.

  5. Monitor and evaluate. Only by doing this will you see what is working and positive outcomes will pave the way for future investment.


Narrow Quay HR can help your organisation on its wellbeing journey. Please contact Caitlin Anniss on 0117 314 5264 to find out more.

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