Promoting emotional resilience and wellbeing improves the health of an organisation as well as that of its employees. As councils change the way they work, resilience is going to be one of the key factors in enabling employees to change too. This podcast highlights some of the different models and ways of working in the future and what this will mean for leaders, managers and employees.
Mindfulness on Monday?
Mindfulness-based resilience training teaches people skills for dealing with stress, planning and workload management, communication, interior leadership, creative thinking and decision making.
Furthermore, mindfulness has been approved by NICE for the treatment of recurrent depression and the Mental Health Foundation has reported that research into individuals with "problematic" levels of stress found significant improvement in perceived levels of stress over the course of a mindfulness intervention.
This audio podcast is available for councils to promote to their employees to help promote resilience.
Councils and employees can also bring Mindfulness to their local schools with the Mindfulness in Schools Project.
Fit for work
Fit for Work is a free service that offers access to occupational health support. It is funded by DWP and provides the services of health professional to people in employment if they have been off for four weeks or more due to sickness.
Recent studies show that being out of work for long periods of time is damaging to health, social and financial wellbeing, and the longer someone is off sick, the harder it is for them to get back to work. An intervention at around four weeks means that they are more likely to return to work, rather than present a risk of a more lengthy absence or leaving employment altogether.
Benefits to councils
1. Immediate staff and commercial benefit
Although most councils have access to either in-house or outsourced occupational health (OH) provision, Fit for Work can offer additional support by providing an added value service at no additional cost. Fit for Work aims to work alongside OH services and many organisations are using us in a triage capacity by funnelling a significant proportion of their return to work support for staff who are off sick through Fit for Work. This frees up the OH provision to deal with the more complex cases and core OH activities, which aren't offered by Fit for Work. As an employee-centric, voluntary, consent-driven service, Fit for Work can add a responsive and robust extra dimension to councils' existing OH provision with a two working-day turnaround from initial referral to employee consultation.
2. Medium-term local area staff and public health benefits
Many councils see the positive benefits of Fit for Work but wish to take it a further step. Working with their public health and partnership teams, Fit for Work are identifying third sector (voluntary) and other localised healthcare provision so that their service can signpost to local sources of support in the Return to Work Plans and via our advice line advisors. Councils are also keen to promote Fit for Work to their GP community and via their supply chains, LEPs and Growth Hubs so that the message about Fit for Work and the benefits it offers can filter down to businesses across their regions. This is very much the starting point of an integrated approach to health and work, but one which sees councils working with other private and public-sector organisations across their regions to increase access to Fit for Work and promote positive health outcomes.
Medium to long-term health and work integration
Some councils view Fit for Work as a strategic plank within an integrated ‘health and work hub' approach. This would see councils co-ordinating support activities for groups such as the long-term unemployed, those in work but off sick, those in work but struggling with ill health, and other targeted groups with specific health conditions. This integrated approach would see all regional provision working together with these target groups to support their health and work needs.
For more information on how this could work in your council visit http://fitforwork.org/.