Wellbeing a symptom of dysfunction?

Scottish Borders Council’s disclosure on wellbeing and stress (W&S) management survey results is a key performance indicator of competent management and leadership.

It is an important principle of ethical accountability by SBC, funded by public money, that the public and their employees have the right to know the results of wellbeing and stress surveys, as resonated by the recent editorial comments and by many concerned local citizens and tax payers.

Unfortunately, in symphony with the recent non-disclosure of work-related stress absenteeism results, the SBC wellbeing scrutiny committee and interested and affected community members will be requested to complete another Freedom of Information request to determine the health and wellbeing status of SBC employees. Therefore, the hypothesis held, namely that SBC wellbeing results are the direct result of a dysfunctional management approach, is based on the existing evidence that what has being measured for the first time has not been adequately managed.

Social and epidemiology researchers will be equally keen to investigate SBC employee health and wellbeing statistics in establishing the evidence-based correlation between SBC employee W&S results and the social economic impact on the wider local and regional Borders community, as significant indicators of community wellbeing.

A recent study report, Investors in People (IiP), encourages organisations to develop a “health and wellbeing strategic plan”. The plan provides a framework with the aim of developing organisations and increasing productivity in the following areas, namely line management and workplace culture, stress prevention and conflict resolution, employee empowerment and work-life balance.

A new standard to help organisations assess and manage the risks associated with work-related stress has also recently been published, namely the publicly-available specification (PAS 1010). Psychosocial risks at work are a major cause of stress, which is reported to affect more than 40 million workers in the EU each year.

In addition, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are equally adequately resourced online to provide both a competency framework standard and management resource tools.

Gordon M. Branston

Ettrickbridge