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2020 a beginners guide to starting Health and wellbeing in your Organisation

Miss the boat in 2019, how to catch up in 2020 with Workplace Health and Wellbeing Programmes

Often Health and Wellbeing (H&W) is tagged onto someone’s existing job role, think HR, H&S or increasingly now total reward specialists. However that relies on the job role allowing the time commitment needed to run effective Health programmes and a genuine enthusiasm from the person doing it.

In some organisations it inevitably drops down the priority list.

With the focus in 2019 been on Mental Health and an acknowledgement from Employers the health of their employees is a rising agenda item in the boardroom the role has expanded and has involved into a specialism. It demands skills around engagement, project management, research skills, knowledge of medical and public health evidence bases aligned with business need and workforce intelligence.

It also helps to have a good knowledge of the local and regional landscape and public health realm to establish links and partnerships to enhance Health and wellbeing programmes. An ability to have, or develop a strong contact network in the Health sector is a key attribute.

A long way removed from the old free fruit Friday initiative or sporadic yoga class H&W activities linked to a clear business need around reducing absences, increasing productivity, recruitment and retention are drivers for investment.

In a world of social media and transparency being on point in investing in staff is a reputation builder beyond any fancy PR.

More than just ROI, focus on the overall employee experience is a key metric. Shaping a pathway of employee benefits where H&W spans across and works in collaboration with other critical business functions such as HR, L&D and marketing to name a few.

Ethical business. Sustainable business. Employers that care, value and look after their employees in return for loyalty, good performance (linked to good health and happy employees), and reduced costs in staff turnover create a cost effective cycle with H&W at the heart of multiple business objectives.

But if you are on the journey where do you start as an Employer? One of thing I see many H&W programmes miss is the ability to connect in locally with Public Health Departments (housed in Local Authorities), regional initiative and networks.

And not just ‘the traditional Health Providers’ but think wider, Local Government, VCS Sector, Combined Authorities, County Sports Partnerships, Chamber of Commerce and Housing Associations to name but a few.

Health spans the agenda of so many sectors and contributes to multiple key performance indicators. Aligning a H&W programme with these partner objectives will plug you into new networks and open up new opportunities.

These differ dependant on location but have specialisms across a broad range of public health key areas, often with commissioned services that can sometimes be accessed by Employers (smoke cessation, healthy weight, alcohol awareness etc).

Other resources available to business include Public Health England who have a FREE campaigns resource centre you can sign up online for.

This will give you heads up on health campaign release dates and give you access to campaign materials digitally. For examples sleep, high sugar foods and various topics you could use in your H&W programming.

To get the grounding for your H&W programming pay particular attention to your H&W Strategy. Obviously this should come first, but some workplaces do just put a programme of activities in place without a strategy and thus no clear rationale for implementation and KPI’s to deliver against.

A strategy will inform a board of the business case. It will set a clear direction of what needs to be delivered, over what term and what it aims to achieve. A strategy should encompass data and insight from evidence based sources such as Public Health England. See link below for H&W strategy template.

Strategy should inform the business case around key metric data. Key absence trends area round MSK, Mental Health (and the more obvious D&V Diarrhoea and vomiting / common cold) are worth analysing with HR.

MSK AND MH developing into longer term absence and been linked together think chronic pain and the effect on Mental Health and magnification of sensitivity to pain as evidence suggests.

Points of reference

1. Public Health England ‘One You Campaign’

2. Director of Public Health lists

3. 2020 Health campaign calendar

4. Health reports, presentations Strategy templates on my slideshare

5. NHS -Mental Health resources ‘Mind Matters’

6. FREE H&W Template

7. MY 2020 Health and Wellbeing dates, free resources, campaigns and blogs

8. My New Year blog 2020 on small changes equalling big benefits long term

9. 9. Run plans / exercise plans free

10. Remote working and stress report

11. H&W Progamme examples

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