Chamber Blog: How to Improve Employee Wellbeing
28th April 2022
Phoebe Davies, HR Advisor at Bhayani HR & Employment Law tells us how we can improve employee wellbeing by taking care of your team and managing sickness absence.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused severe disruption due to sickness absence. Since the lifting of lockdown, there is evidence that indicates that focus on employee wellbeing may be starting to slip (CIPD, 2022). A holistic approach based on individual needs is required to ensure wellbeing stays at the forefront and absence is effectively managed.
Getting the basics right
Even for small businesses, a key way to support employees properly and manage absence is to have appropriate policies in place i.e. a sickness absence management policy and wellbeing policy, and to make sure these are followed. Regularly have open discussions about absence and ensure sickness absence management meetings are held in good time and early on. It will be detrimental to the wellbeing of the employee to wait until absence becomes an issue before addressing it. Have clear trigger levels for sickness absence and a transparent process, a lack of transparency or clarity is a huge causer of workplace stress which can make absence management tricky.
Conduct one to ones at least once a month. You need to have an arena to communicate that isn’t just general office chit chat where employees have a chance to be honest about how they are feeling, what is going well at work and what might not be going so well.
Look to have a holistic framework in place to address wellbeing. It often isn’t too costly to use an employee assistance programme or to access occupational health services. Ensuring line managers are adequately trained to support their teams and on how to have sensitive conversations is critical. Often small businesses see rapid growth and managers are so focused on the day to day, they don’t take time to self-reflect or for their own learning. Handling sensitive conversations requires training so they can provide the right support and signpost.
We advise SME’s daily on wellbeing and absence management and regularly help draft no-jargon policies and guidance that enables business owners and managers to handle these issues in a practical way. We also provide line manager training to equip them to handle difficult conversations and signpost where necessary.
References: Suff, R. (2022). Well-being at work | Factsheets. [online] CIPD. Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/culture/well-being/factsheet#19075 [Accessed 26 Apr. 2022].
Support Your Employees: Be at the forefront of health and wellbeing for your employees.
Don't miss out on this event where guest speakers from Bhayani HR & Employment Law, Foster Sheffield's Future and MapleBrook Wills, will cover topics such as managing employee wellbeing and sickness, the importance of being a foster friendly employer and succession planning.