Practices and combinations of practices for health and wellbeing at work

Illustration of wellbeing at work, photo by Gerhard Ledwinka/Adobe Stock

magele-picture/Adobe Stock

Background

Although there is evidence supporting the links between workplace health and wellbeing, employee engagement and work performance, we have less evidence to show that single workplace health interventions by themselves improve each of these areas.

For this reason, we are examining the factors that enable or hinder the implementation of workplace health and wellbeing practices. The research will consider whether certain combinations of practices are more effective than other combinations, or effective for some types of organisations and not others.

Goals

RAND Europe and the University of East Anglia have been commissioned by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) to explore the factors underpinning the implementation of health and wellbeing practices that foster higher levels of productivity, staff engagement, health and wellbeing in organisations. A central concept of the research will be to study the interplay between productivity, wellbeing and high quality work — that is work characterised by, for example, workers having a say in how they do their work, clear roles and performance expectations, manageable work demands, supportive co-workers and job security.

Specifically, the project objectives are to:

  • Provide answers on which sets/combinations of practices are best implemented, considering for example whether they are more suited to types of individuals or specific organisational contexts;
  • Determine how organisations implement health and wellbeing practices that are effective for improving workplace health, wellbeing and indicators of performance;
  • Generate actionable knowledge, in the form of tools, briefings, direct engagement with organisations and/or intermediaries and other means of dissemination, to assist organisations in their efforts to improve workplace health, wellbeing and performance.

Methodology

The study includes the use of data from Britain's Healthiest Workplace Survey, a collection of data from over 600 organisations. A series of organisational reviews and interviews will be used to examine how organisations implement health and wellbeing practices.

The study will develop the evidence base on how organisations implement different combinations of practices. This will act as both a guide to practice and a basis for further refinement and development in future research.