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Developing and implementing a wellbeing programme

Author: Sarah Silcox


  • Many employers take action to improve the way in which work is organised to have a positive effect on employee wellbeing. (See What is "workplace health promotion"?)
  • The workforce is becoming older, more women are working and manufacturing jobs are in decline, so wellbeing initiatives are likely to be even more beneficial now and in the future. (See Changing demographics)
  • Poor employee wellbeing is linked to high levels of sickness absence and turnover, and poor performance, whereas good employee wellbeing is linked to reduced sickness absence and turnover, and high levels of productivity. (See The cost of poor employee wellbeing and The return on investment in employee wellbeing)
  • Employers that want to invest in employee wellbeing should adopt a wellbeing strategy, so that they follow an organisational approach to wellbeing. (See The wellbeing strategy)
  • Employers that want to improve employee wellbeing should adopt a wellbeing policy. This should set out the organisation's commitment to employee wellbeing and the steps that the organisation will take to improve wellbeing. (See The wellbeing policy)
  • Employee wellbeing is more likely to improve if employees of all levels of seniority are involved in developing and implementing the wellbeing programme. (See Roles and responsibilities)
  • Organisations can take a range of steps to maximise participation in wellbeing initiatives and keep employees' interest alive after the initial launch of a wellbeing programme. (See Increasing participation in wellbeing initiatives)
  • Employers can help employees to get more active. They should determine what employees are interested in doing and seek to engage all employees. (See Raising levels of physical activity)
  • Employers can help employees to eat more healthily by supporting individuals and fostering a work environment that supports healthy eating. (See Healthy eating)
  • Employers can take a range of steps to help employees give up smoking. (See Smoking cessation)
  • Employers should support employees with an alcohol or drug problem. As long as the right measures are in place, they can undertake testing for alcohol and drugs. (See Alcohol and drugs)
  • Work can have a significant impact on people's mental wellbeing. Employers can help to foster a mentally healthy workplace, for example by taking action to prevent and manage stress and training line managers on mental wellbeing. (See Mental wellbeing)
  • Employee assistance programmes can promote wellbeing and identify where the employer needs to take action to improve wellbeing. (See Employee assistance programmes)
  • Employers should put in place measures that help to prevent workplace violence and support employees after an incident has occurred. (See Workplace violence)
  • Bullying and harassment is likely to have a negative impact on employee wellbeing. Employers should foster a culture where bullying and harassment is unacceptable. (See Bullying and harassment)
  • Organisations that take steps to address long working hours, encourage flexible working and help employees to become more resilient are likely to improve the wellbeing of their employees. (See Organisational factors)
  • Reporting on the success of the wellbeing programme can have reputational benefits for the organisation. (See Reporting on wellbeing)