Well workplaces

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Health and safety
17 November 2016
Children exercising in playground
The health of an organisation is founded on the welfare and well-being of those who work within it. Truly efficient and effective organisations tend to be happy places with low staff sickness absence.

This can all too often be overlooked in the rush to meet deadlines, targets and in dealing with the many rigors of school and college life.

A healthy workplace

Acas highlights seven specific indicators which all contribute to a healthy workplace:

  • line managers are confident and trained in people skills
  • employees feel valued and involved in the organisation
  • jobs are flexible and well-designed
  • managers have working knowledge and practical experience of risk assessment parameters
  • managers use appropriate health services (e.g occupational health referrals) to help people get back to work
  • managers promote a health and well-being by conducting return to work discussions when staff have been off sick
  • managers know how to deal with common problems such as stress and musculoskeletal disorders.

These go hand in hand with proper staff engagement.

Promoting well-being at work

Promoting well-being can be broken down into four closely related areas:

  • Finding out: what are the problems, issues or pressure points affecting health? What needs to be done?
  • Taking action: reaching agreement on changes, actions and policies.
  • Monitoring: are policies working? Are we getting it right? What needs review?
  • Raising awareness: talking to colleagues about well-being at work.

Above all, there must be a strong commitment from the organisation's leadership in order to successfully promote well-being at work.