EduPeople by Strictly Education

Enhancing Employee Wellbeing

Wellbeing Programmes

Wellbeing Programmes

18/04/2019

It is in the interests of all employers to promote wellbeing at work, minimise identifiable causes of work-related ill health, and support employees who are experiencing ill health to return to work. Employment policies and practices should therefore be adopted which have employee engagement and wellbeing at their heart.

This guide aims to support school and college leaders to approach employee wellbeing in a proactive way, by considering what a wellbeing programme for staff might look like and considering typical workplace wellbeing initiatives. 

What might a school/college wellbeing programme look like?

There is no ‘one-size fits all’ model, but a practical approach to implementing a wellbeing programme would normally be structured around organisational and individual needs and would typically include:

  • the demonstrable support of the board of governors and senior leaders in the aims of the programme;
  • interventions aimed at developing a supportive culture where:
    • all staff understand the importance of wellbeing and feel able to talk about physical and mental health;
    • line managers are trained to spot the signs of an employee struggling with a mental health issue and signpost them towards appropriate support;
    • managers actively communicate with staff, preventing bullying and discrimination, and enabling staff to use their skills to perform their work to the best of their abilities;
    • wellbeing is aligned with development plans and improvement strategies;
    • there is a focus on helping staff who are struggling with wellbeing issues to recover with clear supportive protocols for managing a return to work in these circumstances;
  • a system of effective communication that ensures employees are able to access information on mental health and are consulted and continually informed of wellbeing initiatives and services offered;
  • a plan based on an understanding of the school’s/college’s needs, on how wellbeing services offered are meeting employee needs and on any specific risks and priorities in relation to wellbeing at work;
  • the integration of clear and simple wellbeing performance targets into routine performance appraisal systems, to enable the continuous evaluation of the programme;
  • effective use of external sources of support such as occupational health and employee assistance programmes (EAPs).

Using occupational health services

Occupational health organisations focus on the physical and mental wellbeing of staff in the workplace by assessing the impact of work on individuals and providing advice and guidance on whether individuals are fit and healthy to do the work they are employed to do. 

They can provide a range of services including: 

  • ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations
  • offering pre-employment health assessments
  • monitoring the health of employees after an accident, illness and during and after pregnancy
  • managing clinic facilities, basic health checks and first aid
  • advising on ill-health retirement
  • advising on ergonomic issues and workplace design
  • promoting good health education programmes and healthy eating
  • monitoring symptoms of work-related stress
  • providing advice and counselling.

 

In terms of supporting education establishments, occupational health services are typically used in the pre-employment health assessment process as well as providing advice and guidance in managing absence situations, both short and long term.

If you purchase occupational health services through us you can access their resources via our partner services area.

Using employee assistance programmes (EAPs)

EAPs provide a valuable and effective confidential support mechanism for employees and their families to help manage personal and professional issues. Typically EAP counsellors support employees on a wide range of issues including substance misuse, debt counselling, family care issues, bereavement and so on. EAP counsellors can also refer employees to other resources and offer a limited number of face-to-face or telephone counselling sessions.

An EAP's services are usually free to the employee and their household members, having been pre-paid by the employer via a contract with a third party EAP provider.

If you purchase an EAP through us you can access the service via our partner services area.

Workplace wellbeing initiatives

The table below (based on work undertaken by the CIPD) is designed to help schools and colleges consider what workplace initiatives might be needed to create a culture which is focussed on wellbeing.

 

Domain Elements Examples of areas of focus for wellbeing initiatives
Physical Health (physical and mental)
Work environment
Safety
Accommodation
Mental Health First Aid training, Health education and checks;
Work-life balance, conflict resolution;
Safe equipment and practices;
Ergonomic working areas
Values Ethical standards
Diversity; spiritual expression
Psychological contract
Values-based leadership;
Equal opportunities; cultural engagement;
Job satisfaction; negotiating change; employee commitment
Personal development Autonomy;
Career development;
Lifelong learning;
Creativity
Team consultation and decisions; Targets;
Mentoring, coaching;
Professional development
Emotional Positive relationships;
Resilience;
Emotional intelligence;
Social responsibility
Team-building;
Self-awareness, coaching;
Anger management, supervision;
Community activity
Work / organisation Change management;
Work demands;
Autonomy;
Job security
Consultation processes; Employee involvement;
Risk assessments;
Control; whistleblowing;
Working time, flexible working, staffing change policies