Wellbeing focus is right medicine for business

The link between mental wellbeing and productivity is eminent common sense (PersonnelToday.com, 18 November).

The onus is on HR directors to take the lead in making these links, prioritising employee wellbeing, and not merely being passive conductors of hierarchical strategic thinking and decision-making. I am striving to make employee wellbeing integral to organisational functioning and productivity.

The problem is that too often lip service is paid to employee wellbeing, its cousin stress and, indeed, other variables such as core values and investing in people. The challenge is for HR directors to show a greater willingness to constructively challenge senior managers when executive functioning is clearly uncomplimentary to the wellbeing of employees.

Simon Calkin’s recent piece in the Observer (6 November) identified organisations obsessing with targets as a root cause of the problem. Time to look genuinely at the impact of work processes on employee wellbeing, and not looking the other way. To do otherwise would contaminate the drive to greater productivity.

Ian Healy
NATFHE (university and college lecturers’ union) wellbeing adviser, University of Northampton

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