Businesses need to get serious when it comes to employee well-being
It’s a statement of the obvious, but if businesses are to properly safeguard the well-being of their employees, they must first understand what ‘well-being in the workplace’ actually means.
The most recent definition - from the new international standard, ISO 45003 psychological health and safety at work is that well-being at work is the ‘fulfilment of the physical, mental, social and cognitive needs and expectations of a worker related to their work’.
This begs two questions, notes Kate Field, Global Head Health, Safety and Well-being at BSI. “What exactly are those needs and expectations?” she asks. “And how do employers meet them?”
BSI’s Prioritizing People best practice model, authored by Field, has the answers. For example, it notes that employees need and expect a workplace that is free from adverse social behaviour and physical, mental and cognitive injury and ill-health. Their needs and expectations also include financial security, work life balance, autonomy, effort reward balance and collaboration and positive relationships at work (without which psychological and physical ill-health can arise).