The University is committed to providing a healthy working environment and improving the quality of working lives for all staff. The wellbeing strategy aims to support the University’s mission and core values of freedom of thought and expression, freedom from discrimination and the recognition that the University’s staff are its greatest asset.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) define wellbeing as
‘Creating an environment to promote a state of contentment which allows an employee to flourish and achieve their full potential for the benefit of themselves and their organisation.’ (CIPD 2016)
Through the integration of wellbeing in all work activities and practices, a positive environment can be created that is compatible with promoting staff engagement, performance and achievement. Working in partnership with all areas of the University with a common interest in promoting a culture of wellbeing is key to the success of this strategy.
The wellbeing strategy’s ultimate goal is to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of University staff and to prevent work associated ill health, for the overall benefit of staff and the organisation. This encompasses the physical, mental and social health of employees and recognises that employees’ values, personal development and work within the University contribute to their overall wellbeing at work.
The University has a large workforce and is geographically, culturally and linguistically diverse. The wellbeing strategy aims to reflect this diversity and to provide direction on related issues and challenges in order to support the development of effective solutions and outcomes.
This strategy document aims to bring together all initiatives already in place within the University for supporting and maximising the health and wellbeing of staff. Through the coordination of current wellbeing activities and the identification of further opportunities, an action plan can be established that consolidates existing work and achieves additional progress. This action plan has been developed using CIPD’s five recognised domains of wellbeing, namely: health, work, values/principles, collective/social and personal growth.
The time individuals spend at work emphasises the importance of promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace. Investing in staff wellbeing can have positive outcomes both for staff and the University. Studies have shown there is a relationship between the psychological wellbeing of employees and positive organisational outcomes, such as reduced levels of sickness absence as well as enhanced productivity and performance.
The wellbeing strategy is informed by related national strategies and guidance, as well as a number of legal requirements, including the employer’s duty of care.
The wellbeing strategy is designed to ensure that:
- The University provides clear leadership and management in relation to wellbeing
- There is optimal engagement of all stakeholders and effective partnerships
- Best use is made of the resources available to optimise the delivery of the strategy
- Actions lead to long-term, sustainable improvements in the health and wellbeing of the University population.
Aims and Objectives
The University’s strategy aims to represents a commitment to an integrated approach to staff wellbeing that creates:
- A sense of belonging
- An environment and culture based on shared values and trust
- An environment where staff wellbeing is integrated into day-to-day practices
- An environment that recognises skills and encourages personal development
This strategy’s objectives are to bring together all those with a role to play in relation to the health and wellbeing of the University population. By bringing together these initiatives the strategy will:
- Oversee the implementation of the wellbeing strategy;
- Raise awareness of current initiatives and their connection to health and wellbeing;
- Help develop specific outcome measures designed to monitor the strategy’s progress and success; and
- Consider how initiatives, developed in response to the identified outcomes, might be developed and funded.
In support of these aims and objectives and within the available resources, the University will support this strategic plan and work across several internal influences including:
- Human Resources Strategy
- Health and Safety principles
- Stakeholders including Schools, Departments, staff, staff representatives and other University members
- Trade Union engagement
Heads of Department are responsible for:
- a safe and healthy environment for all employees at work
- implementing safe systems of work to safeguard employees’ health and wellbeing
- accountability of the organisation’s health, behaviour and performance
Managers are responsible for:
- engaging with staff to promote and enhance employee health and wellbeing
- risk assessing work stress and implementing necessary control measures to prevent harmful stress and consider the necessary support mechanisms at work
- effective recruitment, staff development and training
- supporting staff through a changing and challenging economic climate – enhancing coping capacity and developing a more flexible/agile work environment
- recognising work stress amongst staff and offering necessary support/control measures
- creating a culture that where problems arise they are quickly identified and solution considered against an individual’s needs
- implementing and monitoring workload in relation to health and work
- implementing effective return to work policies following staff illness/absence from work
Staff are responsible for:
- engaging with management to work together to enhance employee wellbeing
- reporting stress and ill health to management as early as possible
- responding to training and development opportunities
- complying with the control measures and contacting support agencies where their wellbeing is threatened
- To achieve success the University must provide leadership and promote collaboration on issues that have an impact on the health and wellbeing of the working population.
- To drive this strategy forward senior management recognition and support must be gained so that a culture that promotes wellbeing and a positive work/life balance can be established.
Work already exists in the following key areas:
- Improving working lives through employment policies such as flexible working, absence management and dignity at work.
- Creating a safe place to work through health and safety policy and initiatives
- Decreasing the interval between treatment and return to work through occupational health referral and advice
- Career development through Personal and Professional Development (PPD)
- Human resource initiatives such as widening participation and equality and diversity
- Personal support through the Staff Counselling Service.
How we will measure our success?
- The number of work absences due to ill health
- Staff turnover
- Dignity at Work cases
- Flexible working requests
- Introduction of new wellbeing initiatives
- Staff survey analysis as an indicator of organisational wellbeing
- Review of comparable data (year-on-year)
- Reviewing relevant data, including stress, support services referrals etc.
- Annual report to the Human Resources and Health and Safety Executive
Committees, identifying outcome measures that will allow us to report
on progress, determine success and direct future initiatives.
 Growing the health and well-being agenda: From first steps to full potential (CIPD Policy Report – January 2016)