NICE: new guidelines on the health and wellbeing of employees


The New Guideline

This guideline makes recommendations on improving the health and wellbeing of employees, with aparticular focus on organisational culture and context, and the role of line managers

The aim is to:

  • promote leadership that supports the health and wellbeing of employees
  • help line managers to achieve this
  • explore the positive and negative effect an organisation's culture can have on people's health and wellbeing
  • provide a business case and economic modelling for strengthening the role of line managers in ensuring the health and wellbeing of employees

The following recommendations are made:

1. Organisational commitment to wellbeing

  • Health and safety is an integral and visible component of workplace culture, and an asset to business
  • Commitment to health and safety into workplace policies (e.g. an aggressive return to work policy may encourage presenteeism, which is potentially damaging to workplace health and safety).

2. Physical work environment

  • Ensure that workplace procedures around physical working environment reflect best practice and statutory requirements and that all facilities and equipment are clean, safe, well maintained and of a good standard.

3. Mental wellbeing at work

  • Develop policies to support mental wellbeing at work.  Consider; workload and work patterns, employees' sense of control over their work,  and effective change management.

4. Fairness and justice

  • Ensure that all unfair treatment of employees is addressed as a priority, and that line managers know where to direct employees for support.

5. Participation and trust

  • Ensure employees feel valued and trusted by the organisation; offer training to make them feel competent promote a sense of community.
  • Encourage employees to have a voice in the organisation and to play an active part in decision-making

6. Senior leadership

  • Ensure that the organisation supports employee health and wellbeing from the top down.

The guidance goes on to describe the role of line managers, how they should be trained and devloped, and what job descriptions should look like.

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