The topic of employee wellbeing encompasses issues which affect an organisation's key group of stakeholders - employees.
Many of these issues will be overseen by the Human Resources (HR) department. HR are responsible for managing resources related to employees, such as recruitment, induction, support and performance management and administering benefits. HR professionals have a central role in supporting a workplace culture where ‘doing the right thing’ is encouraged. HR departments are the main point of contact for all staff within an organisation and as such have unique access to staff throughout their career, from induction training to exit interviews.
HR also has an important role to play in monitoring how ethical values are embedded. Staff surveys, appraisals and exit interviews can all provide valuable information on whether the company’s ethical values are embedded, as well as providing ways to evaluate how the ethics programme is working and whether the company is living up to its values in practice.
Developing a rewards system for ethical behaviour, such as remuneration, promotion or ethics ‘awards’, are other ways of encouraging and reinforcing the expected ethical behaviour of employees. HR and the Ethics function can work together to develop an employee incentives system for their organisation to reward employees who demonstrate ethical behaviours.
Contractual arrangements, including, but not limited to, agency contracts, zero-hour and part-time all have the potential to raise issues of fairness. These risks have been amplified by changing working patterns in which atypical contracts are becoming more common, and the same principles applied to full-time employees are not necessarily offered to other workers.
Understanding how employees make decisions is important for organisations of all sizes in order to ensure they support and promote ethics in decision-making.
Diversity in the workplace refers to the inclusion of different types of people, including age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation as well as differences in individuals’ values, viewpoints, socio-economic background, experience and knowledge.
There can be a fine line between banter and bullying. Bullying can affect every aspect of working life, from day-to-day relationships and staff turnover to recruitment and the bottom line, creating a toxic workplace, which has an impact not only on organisational culture, but on productivity and innovation.
Employers have a duty to their employees to provide safe and healthy work environments. Organisations should take all reasonable and practical steps necessary to ensure that the premises where employees work are secure and provide a zero harm working environment.
Employers have a duty of care towards their employees and are expected to take steps to introduce initiatives which ensure the wellbeing of their workforce. This is not only because provisions for this are gradually being built into law, but also because this can have a significant impact on the culture of the organisation.
Work-home balance relates to the level of prioritisation between personal and professional activities in people’s lives and the prevalence of work-related activities in the home.
A corporate culture which encourages a good balance between professional and personal life can have tangible benefits, both to employee wellbeing and company performance.