Workplace Wellbeing Standards
The Workplace Wellbeing Initiative has launched a series of Workplace Wellbeing Standards that address specific topics that are top of mind for most organizations. You can think of these standards as a checklist for your organization. Workplace Wellbeing is complex, and so these standards have been developed with the intention of clarifying what workplace wellbeing means, the various elements that contribute to a “well workplace” and the actions that organizations can take to improve it. And in addition to the standards that are laid out, each document also includes a list of suggested reading and resources to help expand your understanding of each particular topic.
- Return to Work Standards: The purpose of the Return to Work (RTW) standards is to help organizations take a strategic and well-thought-out approach to the transition back to the office that takes into account the ways in which the fundamental “nature of work” has changed. While it was an upheaval for us all to embrace remote work in early 2020, there have been some unanticipated ‘quality of life’ benefits from the flexibility that came from remote work that has contributed to employees’ well-being – and these benefits should be retained. It is our intention that these standards be seen as guidelines that can be fluid and adaptable for the optimum RTW policies and procedures that suit each organization based on their space, employee needs, work requirements, environment, and bottom line.
- Work-Life Integrity Standards: One of the definitions of integrity is… the state of being whole and undivided. We use the term work-life integrity because employees deserve more than just balance. Balance is a component of work-life integrity but doesn’t speak to the fundamental desire of human beings to feel “whole.” When someone has work-life integrity, it means that they feel empowered in all areas of their life and that they are able to give the time and attention they desire to each of those areas. We aim to encourage all organizations to implement these standards in order to fully respect employees’ lives in their entirety and to encourage employees to become fully personally responsible for how they manage their lives.
- Physical Wellbeing Standards: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) defines physical wellness as nourishing a healthy body through exercise, nutrition, stress management and sleep, which also improves mental wellbeing as a result. The purpose of this physical wellness standard is to support businesses and leaders with a strategic and holistic approach to enhance the physical wellbeing of its employees with a consistent and proactive approach that allows all individuals the opportunity to thrive at work and at home. Whilst physical wellness has sometimes been considered the responsibility of the employee, forward thinking businesses are now looking for opportunities in policy, communication, leadership, culture and education to support the physical wellbeing of their people, as it is not only the moral thing to do but it is good for business.
- Learning and Development Standards: Gallup research has proven that one of the primary drivers of employee retention is having opportunities to learn and grow. This standard focuses specifically on that element of a thriving workplace. Employees, even at the levels of leadership, need to have ways to grow their skills, expertise, and feel that they are moving closer to their career aspirations and life goals. In this document, we outline a variety of elements of training, development and broader education that ensure employees are feeling fulfilled and energized to do their very best work.
- Financial Wellbeing Standards: Poor Financial Wellbeing costs the UK economy in excess of £4bn a year. 1 in 4 employees have one month’s savings – this impacts financial resilience. With 44% not feeling secure in their job, the impact of stress, anxiety and depression related to the possibility of losing one’s job is having an impact: 3 in 4 rank pensions as the most valuable employee benefit; 2 in 5 do not feel in control of their financial future. This standard relates to investing in the financial wellbeing of employees so they can thrive.
- Built Environment Standards: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) defines the built environment to include all physical and internal environments and structures where people work and thrive. Long before the pandemic, research on the determinants of health indicates that external and environmental factors may be responsible for 80–90% of our disease risks and health outcomes. A wellness-focused built environment can benefit our health and wellbeing in many ways. These standards will continue to align with Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) metrics and provide a path to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are aimed to bring a global perspective to pursuing sustainable ways of where and how we work and be context driven with an awareness of adaptation. We look forward to updating this document as new categories emerge from markets and reporting requirements progress around infrastructure and the interconnections with human capital. They are intertwined with many of the other standards produced by the Workplace Wellbeing
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