Workplace Wellbeing : Bellwether for growth strategy
Attending Hampshire Chamber’s breakfast briefing on workplace wellbeing charter, an initiative being promoted by Portsmouth County council, certainly gave food for thought. I’m a long time advocator of businesses promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace, but this was the first time I’d come across this particular initiative. And some of the statistics presented regarding workplace health and wellbeing were shocking!
Statistics reported by Portsmouth City Council tell a stark story. Around 22% of the workforce still smoke, 20% are drinking at increasing amounts, 65% are too inactive, and should take more exercise, and 75% do not eat healthily. Hardly the fault of business owners and managers, you might think. But think on: most of these are often symptoms of problems in the work environment.
When I consider some of my own experiences, with businesses ‘driving’ to realize growth or achieve demanding goals, I can relate to how such demands can lead to workplace illness. In particular, the briefing confirmed how work-related stress is becoming more prevalent amongst the workforce.
First thought was for the businesses and business owners thinking that to adopt a wellbeing charter would improve their bottom line. In all likeliness it will improve productivity, improving motivation and reducing habitual absenteeism if present, but don’t expect it on its own to drive sales and profitability. As one attendee pointed out, staff will not be taken in unless it forms part of a genuine set of core values. And even then they may be suspicious. As discussed they need to be built into a successful business strategy. People can certainly be fickle!
Secondly, more profound, is that the reason for much stress amongst staff is often ironically due to lack of visibility of any clear strategy at the level of the workforce. And high demands from business owners on the staff to achieve the unknown.
And entrepreneurs and business managers are often so preoccupied with immediate issues that they lose sight of their ultimate objectives. Hardly surprising then that the rest of the workforce can do so too. Often to the detriment of their health, as they run around trying to “achieve” at any cost!
That’s why, if you really want to help your staff, to look after the health and wellbeing of the entire workforce, including yourself, and at the same time give your business some focus for growth, a business review and preparation of a strategic plan is an absolute must. Sound too simple? Well try it. You might be surprised.
Achieve Your Vision – Strategy Review and Implementation
Creating a strategy for growth clearly helps you re-focus your business on delivering the outcomes that you want and provides an effective framework for positive change.
An effective strategic review of the business not only gives you:
- A framework for making informed decisions
- A robust basis for more detailed planning
- Benchmarking and performance monitoring
- Positive stimulus for change and a clear focus for growth
- A clear plan of action for implementing the new strategy
It also gives clarity when explaining to others working in the business in order to inform, motivate and involve them in key decisions. And as people don’t like to be kept in the dark, and by nature usually resist any change, it will also give reassurance. Of where the business owners want the business to go. And more importantly what is expected from the workforce.
So, when used as part of an ongoing strategy, the health and wellbeing of your staff will provide a bellwether as to how successful the strategy implementation is progressing. A happy, motivated and healthy workforce will be a good indicator that your strategy for growth is understood, and likely to succeed. See adverse signs with staff and you likely need to revisit!
Good reasons to sign up for the Workforce Wellbeing Charter. And of course to put aside some time to work on your business and plan for a business review!
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