Why a well-being program is vital to employee development

by L&D01 Feb 2016
In the high-pressure world of work, it’s crucial for businesses to have a well-being program and training in place to drive engagement and performance, according to a new report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
In particular, the CIPD recommends that a proactive employee well-being program - based on good people management, leadership and culture - should be at the core of how an organisation functions.
Further, training line managers is vital to ensure they have a clear understanding of health and well-being responsibilities, so they implement policies and handle difficult conversations with staff in a sensitive way.
Indeed, the CIPD emphasised that there is increasing evidence that links wellbeing programs at work with improved employee engagement and business performance.
A workforce that is well works well, but there are too many people doing more work than they can cope with, and are suffering from technology overload, said Professor Cary Cooper, CIPD President.
“Organisations need to take better care of their people and recognise how the demands of work can affect their physical and mental health, as well as their ability to perform well at work," he said.
Cooper added that prevention is much better than a cure, and it’s time that business leaders recognise this and create cultures in organisations in which people are happy and healthy.

In particular, CIPD said that convincing senior management to integrate well-being throughout the business may need to start with a pilot area.

This could involve identifying pockets of effective well-being practice that already exist to prove in tangible terms what the impact has been on employee engagement, customer service, absence levels and performance.
CIPD recently conducted a survey where they found that less than one in ten (8%) of organisations in the UK have a standalone well-being strategy that supports the wider organisational strategy.
Furthermore, the majority of employers (61%) were found to be more reactive than proactive in their approach to well-being.
In Australia, untreated mental health conditions are resulting in $10.9 billion going down the drown every year due to absenteeism, reduced productivity and compensation claims, according to Mental Health First Aid Australia.
Moreover, more than six million Australians take sick leave every year due to mental illness.
Related articles:
5-step guide to implement mental health training