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HR News Round-up May 2019

Posted On: 31/05/2019

The month of May is home to Mental Health Awareness Week to raise much needed awareness and National Work From Home Day to promote smarter working practices.  So, it’s no surprise that this month’s press coverage and social media posts fixed the spotlight on the need for healthy workplace cultures. 

In this month’s news round-up we look at the importance of supporting your employees and highlight two companies who have demonstrated that providing a trusting and rewarding workplace culture results in loyalty and great customer service.

Managing Mental Health In The Workplace

The aim of having a week dedicated to mental health is to raise awareness and to inspire action; hundreds of events took place across the UK to encourage people to show their support and share their personal experiences. 

The latest statistics confirm that one in seven people experience mental health challenges in the workplace and absence caused by poor mental health costs the economy £1.4bn every year [1].

These numbers are a clear sign that businesses must take a more proactive approach to mental health in the workplace and introduce better working practices.  Employers can obtain support from HR and legal professionals and the government’s initiative Access to Work.

NHS Annual Survey and Workplace Stress

This month the world’s largest workforce reveals a new way to think about emotional wellbeing [2].

The latest NHS annual staff survey found that nearly 40% of their workforce felt unwell because of work-related stress in the past 12 months. 

In response to the survey the NHS have introduced a wellbeing toolkit called ‘How are you feeling today NHS?’  This easy to use resource has been developed for NHS staff to allow them to talk openly and regularly about their emotional health, to assess the impact emotional wellbeing has on them and their patients and enables the NHS to put plans in place to ensure that there are more good days than bad.

The NHS have also put in place train-the-trainer exercises, online mindfulness support, resilience training and launched a programme to train managers and embed health and wellbeing into their role as line managers.

Benefits of agile working

18th May was National Work From Home Day.  To support employee wellbeing many organisations are looking to improve their agility, drive and productivity by embracing a more flexible way of working [3].

A recent Harvard Business Review found that remote workers were 13.5% more productive than their office-bound colleagues.  Introducing flexible working helps employees strike a better work-life balance resulting in a happier, healthier and more loyal workforce.

BT sets out to improve workplace culture

The telecom company announced this month that it was to distribute £50m in shares every year to its 100,000 strong workforce to improve morale and improve its workplace culture [4]. 

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive says: “I’m asking our colleagues for their commitment to making BT a national champion and I want to give them ownership in our company and a share in our success.  Placing customers at the heart of BT will only be possible by investing in the lifeblood of the business, our people, giving everyone a stake as we build a better BT for the future.”

Richer Sounds hands over stake in company to employees

Julian Richer founded his electronics company when he was only 19 and as he approaches his 60th birthday he is marking the occasion by putting 60% shares into an Employee Ownership Trust [5].

Richer Sounds employs over 500 people who will receive £1,000 for every year they have worked for the company.  This equates to an average payout of £8,000.

Julian has always believed in the importance of secure, well-paid jobs and states that a happy workforce is key to commercial success.  The loyalty of his workforce is evidence to his ethos; one employee has remained at the company for over 40 years, 39 employees have achieved over 20 years and their gender pay gap reported in the favour of women in 2017 and 2018. 

We’re Here To Help 

If you need our experienced team of HR professionals to help you create an enviable workplace culture or support you with an annual employee survey please call us on 0161 941 2426.

[1] HR News

[2] People Management

[3] HR News

[4] Personnel Today

[5] Personnel Today

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