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Worker wellbeing can be measured, says report

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A wellbeing strategy is not enough, claims a new report which urges leaders to apply the same scrutiny to measuring their staff wellbeing as they do to financial balance sheets.


Published by the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing at Work based at Alliance Manchester Business School, the report says that by assessing interventions line managers can better discharge their accountability for worker wellbeing.

The short report, Measuring Wellbeing For Healthy Workers and Organisations, says that employers should choose metrics that are simple and easy to understand. Subjective wellbeing assessments can then be integrated within existing employee surveys to provide a snapshot of employee sentiment.

The report says that by assessing interventions line managers can better discharge their accountability for worker wellbeing. Photograph: iStock

Sir Cary Cooper, co-chair of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing at Work and Professor of Organisational Psychology at AMBS, said: “Placing health and wellbeing at the heart of a business strategy makes perfect sense - it will help to improve productivity, improve staff retention and reduce presenteeism. But implementing a strategy alone is not good enough. We must measure it too, and then use this data to drive further improvements in worker wellbeing.”

Report co-author Dr Richard Heron added: “Successful CEOs and business leaders are intimately familiar with business metrics, profit and loss accounts and financial statements, and as workers we depend on this to keep a job in a going concern.

“But how familiar are they with the factors that increase or decrease the wellbeing accounts of their people? And why should they be just as interested in these as they are in financial measures from an organisational perspective?

“The evidence is increasingly clear that when leaders genuinely care about worker wellbeing, business outcomes of interest are better, whether they be long-term stock price, the ability to attract and retain talent or the robustness of safety and governance approaches.”

Sir Cary added: “We need to support our people. But there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so to do so effectively we need to tailor our wellbeing strategies to our own organisations and most importantly, measure the impact of them. Only then will we truly be able to create a better working environment for our people and, in turn, improve productivity.”

Measuring Wellbeing For Healthy Workers and Organisations report here 

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