Ahead of World Health Day on Friday 7 April, the CIPD has released revised guidance on how to create a healthy workplace for the mutual benefit of individuals and their employers. The CIPD’s timely factsheet outlines a well-being pyramid model that demonstrates the need for organisations to align their culture, leadership and people management to form a solid base that supports well-being at work. CIPD research suggests this guidance will be warmly welcomed; it found that although more and more organisations recognise their important role in supporting employee well-being, the majority still have a long way to go in developing strategies that provide people with the support they need.

The theme for this year’s World Health Day is depression and the overall aim of the campaign is to enable more people with depression, in all countries, to seek and get help. Rachel Suff, Employment Relations Adviser at the CIPD, believes that employers have a responsibility to encourage a culture of openness and inclusivity, so that employees feel confident about disclosing mental health issues and discussing the challenges they’re experiencing, knowing they’ll be supported. She comments:

‘Depression is the largest cause of disability across the world, so it’s in employers’ best interests to monitor and manage it in the workplace. HR professionals and line managers play a key role in promoting good mental and physical well-being and ensuring that employees are getting the support they need, as well as supporting those who may be struggling. Ultimately, equipped with a well-being strategy that emphasises the equal importance of good mental and physical health, and investment in people management capability, organisations can expect employees to not only be happier and healthier, but more engaged and productive.’

Just last week mental health charity, Mind, revealed that one in four employees who describe their mental health as poor, say work is the primary cause. The CIPD’s Megatrends research reveals that people’s work and domestic lives have become more entwined with an increased number of employees reporting they’re working harder and feeling under excessive pressure at work. Employees feeling under excessive pressure on a regular basis are more likely to be suffering anxiety and stress and reporting negative effects on their physical and mental health.

HR professionals are pivotal in driving the health and well-being agenda and the CIPD is dedicated to advancing research in this area and to providing information and guidance to support practitioners. Promoting employee well-being is core to the CIPD’s purpose of championing better work and working lives, because an effective workplace well-being programme can mutually benefit individuals, organisations, economies and wider society.

The CIPD is working in partnership with Mind and is serving on an employer-focused steering group for the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign. The CIPD is also part of the UK Government-commissioned Independent Mental Health and Employers Review (on the Expert Advisory Group) which is led by Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind. The CIPD is committed to supporting and promoting the well-being of its own staff and offers access to a free, employee support helpline, which includes a counselling service. Additionally all line managers and supervisors are encouraged to attend a mental health workshop, provided by Mind, CIPD first aiders have mental health awareness training and employees benefit from biannual health and well-being events.

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Championing better work and working lives

About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.