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  • jane anderson

Staff Wellbeing as Staff Engagement

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Are you taking care of people at work? Well, maybe you shouldn't be. Not a hundred per cent anyway.

Because staff wellbeing isn't about benevolent paternalism anymore - doing it for or to staff - it's a collaborative arrangement between employees and the organisation. Or should be.

Too often assume we know best what people need to feel good about coming to work. But how often are they seriously posed that question? More importantly, how often are their responses seriously taken into account when staff wellbeing initiatives are being mooted?

Effective staff wellbeing is more than simply meeting statutory requirements and the occasional toe-dipping into the touchy-feely world of therapy and scented candles or forcing people to partake in mini-olympic away-days.

It's about engaging staff in the whole wellbeing process and it needs to be integrated into everyday workplace life. And for that to happen there has to be a release of control.

Actually two things have to happen to enable organic and genuinely effective staff wellbeing to emerge at work.

The first is that somebody somewhere needs to relinquish some power over the wellbeing of their employee populace; the second, that everybody else needs to start taking greater ownership of their personal happiness and wellbeing when they come to work.

Leadership need to trust their staff have at least some of the answers to their own wellbeing issues (beyond pay and conditions which is their remit and much of what they get paid for), and staff need to trust themselves to come up with the goods.

For this to transpire successfully however, having a robust staff welling structure in place which everyone respects and can comfortably reference makes a huge difference.

Fifteen years ago I developed the Staff Wellbeing Framework model when it became clear that organisations were beginning to see the wellbeing light but didn't know which way to turn for the best. Unfortunately many of the attempts at addressing staff wellbeing then were well-intentioned but hitty-missy and often made things worse rather than better (as poor wellbeing interventions are wont to do).

These days the Staff Wellbeing Framework model involves employees from the outset and continues to do so because in essence, they run it. Within organisational boundaries of course and in conjunction with leadership, but they operate an evidenced and trackable system which enables them to organise and implement the wellbeing initiatives they know work best for them. All of which creates a great deal of engagement and trust, which is another Holy Grail altogether.

Jane Anderson PhD specialises in Sociospacial Reciprocity and Place Therapy. She's been working in wellbeing for nigh on 30 years and is especially interested in the people-place relationship and how it underpins all other aspects of staff engagement and wellbeing. Her Staff Wellbeing Framework Model is now charter-marked for quality assurance. / 07742942651

For schools: Staff Wellbeing Framework Model flyer click here

For business: Staff Wellbeing Framework Model flyer click here

Up to 40% funding towards the cost of implementing the Staff Wellbeing Framework Model and/or other JCA Consult Ltd services focusing on staff wellbeing and engagement, and retention (including coaching and mentoring) may be available to eligible organisations as I am a registered Provider for NBSL’s North East Business Support Fund helping businesses to improve their competitiveness.

For further information and to complete the 15 minute application form:

Northumberland and Tyne and Wear:

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