Free Employee Motivation Guide for SMEs – Be the Business

It’s been a pleasure to contribute to the Be the Business practical free guide to motivation for SMEs. This guide is full of great motivational tips on how to create a happier, healthier and productive workplace, using a combination of theory, live case studies and insights.

It is recommended as a must read for small business owners and people managers, but it should also benefit anyone with an interest in employee motivation.

More resources are available from Be the Business, an independent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping SMEs improve their performance.

https://www.bethebusiness.com/enjoy-your-free-guide/

 

Society of Occupational Medicine Introduces a Voluntary Code of Wellbeing Practice

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) has introduced a self-assessment voluntary code of practice for its members who work as workplace wellbeing practitioners. As a leading professional body focused on occupational health and wellbeing of people at work in the UK and around the world, SOM is committed to upholding the highest professional and ethical standards in its field.

The code is derived from the World Health Organisation’s five keys to healthy workplaces, which it considers are essential to developing healthy workplaces.  This has been translated into professional standards and outcomes by Evan Davidge, a freelance total reward and wellbeing expert.

Nick Pahl, CEO of SOM said:

“SOM welcomes this code to ensure greater consistency of wellbeing professional standards. The SOM Board at their meeting in September 2019 agreed that support for training and development for workplace wellbeing practitioners to acquire relevant professional skills, knowledge and attributes to succeed in their role was essential. It noted that workplace wellbeing professional practitioners could join the SOM and SOM members and potential members could be informed about the code, developed by Evan Davidge and colleagues.”

Evan Davidge explains that workplace wellbeing has emerged as one of the hottest topics in business / people management in recent years, especially with an increasing awareness of its impact on productivity and sustainability. This is exemplified by the UN who has identified that achieving good health and wellbeing behaviours at work and life in general will contribute to the future environmental sustainability of our planet.

Davidge contends that the key challenge is to instill a sustainable culture of wellbeing and behavioural change, but this is where many well-intended initiatives fall at the first hurdle. This is hardly surprising as workplace wellbeing practice is a relatively new discipline that tends to fall between different stools. Indeed, a think-tank – The What Works Centre for Wellbeing – believes that many employers find themselves open to ‘Unregulated markets which are putting a price tag to mitigating wellbeing risks by overselling and misunderstanding its true value in terms of causality, quality and context.” As Davidge points out, this is compounded by a lack of vision and blind obedience to the market.

Davidge adds that:

“The voluntary code is intended to raise professional standards in this field. Many professionals find themselves charged with delivering workplace wellbeing, which is usually a bolt-on responsibility to their day job, with little or no experience and resources. Whilst the Government and industry are starting to pull together to improve standards, there is a long way to go. The World Health Organisation’s five keys to healthy workplaces does provide an appropriate framework, but how it is applied is a different challenge altogether. Hence, the voluntary code is intended to help deliver consistent outcomes in workplace wellbeing practice. It could be the forerunner to developing workplace wellbeing as a separate discipline and I am working with the professional community to adopt the code”.

The Society’s voluntary code of practice can be found at https://www.som.org.uk/sites/som.org.uk/files/Voluntary_code_of_practice_workplace_wellbeing_practitioners_Oct2019.pdf

 

SPECIAL 2 for 1 Offer – Mastering Wellbeing Practitioners Certificate London – 2nd / 3rd October 2019

THE WORKPLACE WELLBEING PRACTITIONER’S CERTIFICATE | 2-3 October 2019, London

This is a great opportunity to attend a two-day course, bringing along a colleague for free.

The course covers workplace wellbeing in an organisational and international context.  It provides delegates with the knowledge and understanding of environments in which they as practitioners can plan, implement and evaluate wellbeing programmes to support strategic operational goals.
Launched in partnership with e-reward.co.uk our course is structured on the lines of a voluntary code of practice.  We have set core standards and competences based on survey feedback given by workplace wellbeing practitioners. Clear learning outcomes are defined along with a training syllabus, objectives and course content.

Day 1 –  focuses on the strategic, tactical and operational contexts.
Day 2 – largely comprises an interactive group exercise based on a fictitious organisation, pulling together all the learnings from Day 1 experientially. Time will be built into a plenary session, followed by feedback and course evaluation. Finally, delegates will be presented with their course certificates, which is in the process of being CPD accredited.

To ensure that it fits each individual’s needs, delegates will be asked to complete a survey prior to the course to identify their specific knowledge gaps and training requirements. Delivery of the content can then be tailored accordingly.

Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this great 2 for 1 offer. Save £1,000 and deliver real value to your organisation many times over. Further course and registration details can be found here.

Workplace Health & Wellbeing – It’s not the size that matters but the approach

Workplace wellbeing for small businesses – do not miss this opportunity.

Are you a small business owner on a high growth trajectory who wants to eke more out of your key asset – your employees?  Do you want to nurture a thriving work environment where everyone feels and gives their best?  Do you want an organisation where everyone is proud to work for you, they feel emotionally engaged and are generally happy and comfortable in their environment?

Every organisation, whatever its size, has wide-ranging duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to protect the “health, safety and welfare” at work of all their employees on their premises.

Whilst not clearly defined in the legislation, which was written nearly four decades ago, stress and well-being is a fundamental part of this duty.  Indeed, it affects all aspects of working life, from the quality and safety of the physical environment, to how employees feel about their work, their working environment, the culture, their experiences and work organisation. It is increasingly seen as an important factor in attraction, retention and engagement strategies.

The issue for small businesses is that they are the worst performing in terms of employee health outcomes. One-third of SME employees experiencing a mental health problem during their working life (CIPD, Employee Outlook, Focus on Mental Health, July 2016). With 96% of SMEs categorised as ‘micro-businesses’, i.e. employing less than 10 people, the ramifications of stress and well-being are magnified even further.

But this doesn’t have to be the case; there are small things you can do that can make a big impact. For instance, you have much more flexibility and agility to adopt a proactive approach to stress and well-being. Small businesses usually have a “family” community spirit and are much better placed to be in constant tune with their staff; a key advantage over larger companies.

Think of wellbeing as a form of tai chi which is designed to cultivate the qi or life energy of all employees to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the organisation.  Total harmony of the inner and outer self by every single employees comes from the integration of mind and body, empowered by leaders and practised through a healthy work experience and conditions.

Key steps to managing this stress and wellbeing

There are five simple steps to manage stress and well-being proactively in SMEs, which involve very little resources, but which will deliver very positive outcomes.

1. Start with the end in sight
Firstly, you need to treat stress and well-being as a business imperative rather than a “nice to have”. You should, therefore, think carefully how you are going to create more value from your well-being investment in your people. As a small business owner, you should have quite a strong personal attachment to your people. Focus on instilling a proactive well-being culture, rather than reacting to events that lead to lost productivity and sickness absence. For example, employer sponsored physical activity programmes at work have been found to reduce absenteeism by up to 20% and physically active workers take 27% fewer sick days. (Health, Work and Well-being Programme (2008) Working for a healthier tomorrow. London: The Stationery Office).

2. Define your strategy
Scoping out your strategy is fundamental to the success of your well-being initiatives. Generally, you should focus on four key people ‘needs’ as outlined below:

• Emotional needs: Resilience, mindfulness, stress management and mental health
• Physical needs: Energy, health risks, awareness, nutrition, exercise, sleep
• Financial needs: Security, life planning, retirement, debt management, insurance protection
• Social needs: Belonging, inclusion, togetherness, community, trust, culture

You should then decide what’s within your gift to influence positive stress and well-being outcomes. You don’t need a big budget to make a significant difference. There are a wide range of options that you, as an employer, can offer at little-to-no cost.

Accordingly, you should focus on four key areas: Each of these areas are mutually exclusive, as explained below.

a. Prevention
All the evidence shows that “prevention is better than cure”. So, what positive steps can you take to help your people improve their behaviours and take more responsibility for their well-being? A good place to start is to look at yourself in the mirror and question if you are setting the right tone by your own well-being mind-set and behaviours. What steps can you take to be a role model and create a positive workplace where there is high awareness and engagement with stress and well-being initiatives? Supporting a healthy workforce means, for example, that you should refrain from working crazy hours, emailing employees on the weekend or constantly checking your work smartphone when on vacation. Managers that practice self-care show employees that they should be prioritising their well-being as well.

b. Support
Keeping on top of stress and well-being is a challenge for small businesses, but you must be sensitive to this. For example, are you expecting your people to constantly ‘jump through hoops’, with limited organisation, resources and direction? Do you understand what is driving/motivating them, and the stimulus they need to have a good work experience? What can you do to help them if personal concerns are affecting their ability to perform? Do you have good self-awareness and are attuned to your people’s inner needs and feelings? Remember though that employees will feel less inclined to reveal any health and well-being issues if it is perceived as taboo in the workplace and there is a lack of trust and openness by management. Privacy must always be respected, but where an employee is not performing to their best, then it is quite reasonable to hold a conversation with them.

c. Working environment
When you look at your working environment, it’s not just about the physical surroundings but the emotional, spiritual and social cohesion that it cultivates. Your people must feel safe and secure in their workplace as well as being able to experience a strong sense of belonging, purpose, ethos and culture. Exercising effective leadership, a “fun” culture and collaboration make for a good start.

d. Networking
As a small business owner, you do not have to go it alone. There are likely to be many other local business owners in the same boat who have a wish to share ideas and best practice. Social enterprises such as Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network – Chambers of Commerce and Trading Bodies help progressive businesses of all sizes to make the connection between well-being and prosperity of business and society.

3. Consult and engage with your people

Talking about stress and well-being is the most immediate step you can take, whether self-employed or a small business owner. Understanding your people’s attitudes towards well-being and how your workplace can shape enablers and interventions is vital. More importantly, your people must feel that they are part of the well-being journey and be able to influence its direction and outcomes. So, it is important to encourage ideas and suggestions about working practices, health initiatives etc to get your people on board from the outset. For example, making simple workplace adjustments, offering flexible working hours, recognising birthdays and work anniversaries and ensuring that your employees take a lunch break are all cost-effective, quick wins that start to sow the seed.

4. Seek external support and advice

The reality is that designing a stress and well-being initiative usually requires expertise and experience beyond the skill sets of those employed within a small business. Don’t be afraid to bring in outside help. It makes good business sense for you to select dedicated experts to ensure your initiative succeeds.

There are many national charities or agencies such as Acas, Mind, Time to Change, Macmillan, Samaritans, Public Health England / Wales / Scotland etc, who are prepared to support small businesses, including the Forum of Private Businesses.

Also, the Government’s Fit for Work programme provide support on workplace health to GPs, employers and employees. The Fit for Work team understands the barriers smaller organisations face when it comes to addressing employee health.

5. Measure success

The long-term success of any health and well-being programme will ultimately come down to organisational culture, and the attitude, determination and conviction of those at the top. There is no “one size fits all”. It is about finding the solution that works for you and your team. You might not get it right first time, but rest assured, it will be worth it when you do.

There’s also another simple adage “that you can’t manage on what you can’t measure”. It doesn’t have to be rocket science – but even in the absence of any meaningful data – you will have a gut feeling if your investment is working or not.

About the Article

This article was written and adapted by The Wellbeing Leader as a contribution to the CIPD People Skills Hub, an essential new HR and people management resource for small businesses, accessible at https://peopleskillshub.cipd.co.uk/.

About the Author
Evan Davidge is an independent HR consultant specialising in total reward and wellbeing. He has over 20 years’ consultancy experience, delivering insights and solutions to many organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Evan is an Associate tutor, examiner and adviser to the CIPD where he holds Chartered status. He is also founder of The Wellbeing Leader.