Who Is Responsible for Employee Health and Well-Being

Posted by Aaron Keegan on 23-Feb-2016 09:15:10

Health & Well-being, too many chefs?

According to the CIPD, the health and well-being of people at work is one of the most important HR issues of our time. But who is responsible? And is this a classic case where there are so many vested interests that nothing gets done as each stakeholder looks to the others for action or leadership?

Those that can play a role in improving the health and well-being of employees and so society as a whole are:

1. Individual employees
Every one needs to take responsibility for their health. This is not easy with the struggles of life and the marketing budgets of processed foods companies. We all need help but we must take action ourselves.

2. Human Resources.
HR are responsible for ensuring their organisation gets the most out of the talent that is available to them. They understand the benefits that accrue from a happy and healthy workforce. HR will set the policy and be the "enabler" for the health and well-being strategy.

3. Line Managers.
They are the closest to their team and have responsibility to implement company policy on health and wellbeing. They are critical in ensuring that the strategy is successful.

4. Senior Management.
Not only do they hold the purse strings in allocating resources they are important champions in nurturing a culture of health within an organisation.

5. Occupational Health.
Whether they are internal, external occupational health physicians, absence advisors and support services have a key role in getting employees back to work. This is now broadening out to be proactive as well as just reactive.

6. Government
Workers are a subset of society and better employee health means better outcomes for the country. Government’s role is complex, incorporating more than just sickness management. They need to improve awareness and education as well as providing incentives to encourage all other stakeholders towards making a significant contribution.

So which group are you in? At least one, probably two maybe even three.

We will discuss each group separately but it is important to recognise that they need to work in tandem. Like an orchestra they need a good conductor to integrate and harmonise a health and well-being strategy that benefits all stakeholders.

Topics: Employee Health, Wellbeing

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