Other management processes, such as ISO 9001, also serve to underpin the success of businesses in the market place, by implementing and streamlining policies and procedures and changing people’s approach to work. However, the Charter’s ethos is to focus on the health of employees and to base any claims of success on validated evidence.
For example, if an improvement in the health of employees results in fewer days' absence from work and increased capacity and motivation, productivity is likely to improve over a period of time. This is a result that can be measured and the evidence used to demonstrate the Charter’s positive impact, producing a business case for the time and effort spent in embedding it into the organisation.
The Charter is not simply a mechanical 'tick box' exercise for creating new processes. The changes will take time to be absorbed into the business and show a corresponding impact on performance. However, the Charter does provide the guidance and information needed to support employers in introducing relevant new policies and procedures straight away, including those that are required by law, which may not have been introduced or may need updating.
The Charter was previously offered in the form of various local schemes, having arisen from a report produced in 2009, by the University of Liverpool. In June 2014, it was re-launched by PHE as a set of national standards and is currently being rolled out across England.
Although Charter schemes still operate on a local basis, often with the involvement of local authorities, Charter status for businesses is now only achievable by adopting the 2014 set of standards, as promoted by PHE. The Charter continues to be well supported in Liverpool, with many different businesses having taken it up and Liverpool City Council supporting the scheme and owning the intellectual property rights in the Charter.
The independent charity, Health@Work provides significant support and training to organisations that take up the Charter and also manages the Charter’s website. Health@Work helps organisations to introduce the Charter into the workplace in a way that is enjoyable and interactive for all involved.
The three key areas of focus for the Charter are:
These can be approached through the three levels of:
An employer can conduct a self assessment exercise by following the process available on the Charter’s website. Awareness can be improved instantly and specific areas of concern, that may not have been addressed recently, can be identified straight away. The Charter can therefore serve as a useful tool from the outset and change can be introduced and built upon incrementally, at the pace that suits each business.
PHE is encouraging all employers across England to take up the Charter to:
- Improve the health of their employees.
- Reduce sickness and absenteeism.
- Raise morale.
- Improve performance.
- Achieve the organisation’s goals and ...
- Prove the success of the Charter’s impact through maintaining a demonstrable audit trail.
Visit the Workforce Wellbeing Charter's website and find out how it can help to transform your business.