NICE guidance puts senior management at the heart of workplace wellbeing

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The body which develops clinical guidelines for the NHS has published guidance to support employers in creating healthy workplaces which will boost productivity.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines place a substantial onus on senior management to maintain a positive and healthy workplace and lead by example.

It also recognises that line manages can be a crucial pivot to ensuring a healthy workplace and recommends significant training to enable and support this.

Although the recommendations are not legally binding, they are based on the best evidence available and consultations with industry experts.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and health and social care director at Nice told Cover's sister title WSB: "This is as good as it gets in terms of the research evidence and input from the right people." 

Leng explained how important it was that company executives took control of wellbeing in the workplace.

She added: "It's clear that if you want to set a culture in an organisation and set an example then it needs to come from the top."

"It's the board that does that - it's one of the core responsibilities of the chief executive so it needs to be led from the top and needs to cascade through the organisation.

"It really won't work if the chief executive and senior managers are saying to everyone else ‘here's what you should be doing', but are not doing it themselves."

The recommendations have been backed by the UK's biggest employer, the NHS.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England said: "Health-promoting workplaces are obviously good for millions of employees and ultimately for taxpayers too, so the time is right for all employers - including the NHS - to raise our game."

Dedicated sections have been produced to help address the issue of mental health and also the importance of monitoring and evaluating the processes and results of wellbeing strategies.

The recommendations cover eleven areas, they are:

  • Organisational commitment
  • Physical work environment
  • Mental wellbeing at work
  • Fairness and justice
  • Participation and trust
  • Senior leadership
  • Role of line managers
  • Leadership style of line managers
  • Training of line managers
  • Job design
  • Monitoring and evaluation

The full report and guidance can be found here.

Further Reading:

Employers do not have skills to support mental health

Unum launches workplace wellbeing 'MOT' tool

Employers not liable for foreseeing stress related illnesses

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