Would You Publish Your Well-being Indicators? – by Cary Cooper

What are the benefits of public and private sector organisations publishing well-being indicators and FTSE 100 companies completing benchmarking questionnaires covering areas such as occupational health and employee engagement? Cary Cooper discusses these new initiatives, as originally published in his blog.

On Tuesday I attended the launch of a new Business in the Community initiative which aims to get both public and private sector organisations to publish well-being indicators in their annual reports. These could include stress related sickness absence, job satisfaction, employee engagement and any other data that is collected which reveals how employee well-being is changing year on year.

This dovetails with another of their programmes, encouraging FTSE 100 companies to complete a benchmarking questionnaire covering key areas including leadership and management development, coaching and mentoring, occupational health, health and well-being promotions and employee engagement.

Greater transparency in this area has a number of benefits. New recruits are increasingly focused on employee well-being, rather than just on salary, so this information will be valuable to them. It could also focus the attention of any CEOs who are still reluctant to take well-being seriously – although they’ll probably be unwilling to get involved in the first place, they’ll become conspicuous by their absence in the longer term. The action could even help increase well-being in its own right, by making employees feel that commitment between the organisation and the employee goes in both directions.

Well-Being practitioners should also welcome both proposals. The first will help provide more leverage when securing senior leadership buy-in to their initiatives. As for the benchmarking project, I constantly hear from professionals responsible for engagement and well-being who are taking action, but don’t know whether they’re getting ahead of the curve or lagging behind. Being able to compare with others will be valuable, especially if it leads to greater sharing of best practice. Of course, there are existing ways to connect with other practitioners and experts; if you’re interested in doing so, click here to check out details of the Good Day at Work well-being professionals’ annual conference on 1st November.

Cary L. Cooper, CBE, is Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University.  He is currently Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences (comprised of 44 learned societies in the social sciences, totalling 88,000 social scientists), President of RELATE and President of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. He also serves on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum.  In 2001 he was awarded the CBE by the Queen for services to occupational health.

Professor Cooper is the author/editor of over over 300 scholarly articles and 120 books, including: ‘Handbook of Stress in the Occupations‘; ‘Human Resource Management in Small Business‘; and ‘Occupational Health and Safety for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises‘.  His new book, ‘Human Resource Management in the Nonprofit Sector‘, is due out in November.

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