Securing ‘buy-in’ from stakeholders and getting the right people on-board should be the first priority.
A simple rule of thumb is that a stakeholder is anyone who can affect or be affected by the running of your Work PositiveCI project. In simple terms, who do you need to bring on-board and keep on-board for Work PositiveCI to be a success? It may help to map out the areas and individuals who currently have an interest in health and wellbeing, as well as stakeholders who stand to benefit from improved employee wellbeing - these should be natural supporters for Work PositiveCI. Other potential stakeholders could include:
- Senior management
- Department / Line management
- HR / Occupational Health and Safety / Training and Development
- Employee representatives
- External / Internal experts – health and wellbeing
Remember, you will need senior and operational (e.g. line manager, employee) level involvement to ensure commitment across all hierarchical levels.
Developing your Work PositiveCI business case
A business case should be developed and presented to help stakeholders understand the rationale for running Work PositiveCI within their organisation, as well as identifying what commitment and actions may be required from them.
The business case could include the following information:
- Overview – highlight the key points of the business case, which should include the reason and benefits of carrying out the Work PositiveCI
- Background / Reasons – explain the reasons behind undertaking the Work PositiveCI project which may include:
- Highlighting the current impact of psychosocial risks and occupational stress within your workplace e.g absence and staff turnover figures, complaints, incident data, return-to-work and exit interview data and any staff feedback from surveys, consultations, grievances or anecdotal comments);
- Reference national/international research;
- Demonstrating compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, which places a duty on all employers to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of their employees.
- Possible solution and Approach – Provide an introduction to the Work PositiveCI process and an explanation as to what may be involved. Provide a summary of the steps involved including information on the survey options (i.e. Work PositiveCI Standard or Work PositiveCI). You should also explain how you plan to maintain ongoing communication with your stakeholders throughout the process.
- Key benefits - highlight the benefits of Work PositiveCI (e.g. employee wellbeing and performance, organisational image and reputation)
- Timescale – explain the timescale over which the project will run
- Required resources – Provide a summary of the resources required e.g. staff time and the commitment needed from the stakeholders. Also highlight the need and requirements of a steering group.
Some useful tips (click on the text to expand)
An effective way of securing the backing of senior management is to relate the Work PositiveCI outcomes to your organisation’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This will help make the process more relevant for managers, as they will be able to identify more clearly the potential benefits of improving employee wellbeing.
Ask stakeholders to identify what kind of measures and success factors are important to them. This will help provide initial direction for the project. Plus, getting the stakeholders to think about how this project might improve some meaningful metrics in their area, which may help secure additional commitment.
Some stakeholders may be fearful Work PositiveCI will ‘open a can of worms’, in which case it may be useful to highlight the dangers of not addressing psychosocial risks within the workplace. Employers have a duty of care to their employees, which is predicated on assessing potential risks in order to eliminate or reduce them. There are risks in nearly every workplace, so identification of hazards and risks should not be avoided, but accepted as part of working life. The employer most often is not ‘causing’ hazards, they exist within the work system; technical, social and business/administration systems bring psychosocial risks to the people involved. This process has as its goal, which is the identification of those hazards and their location – department, team, work area – in order to assess their likelihood and impact and thus take action to prevent and/or reduce their fallout for all. The employer duty isn’t without caveats; the ‘as far as reasonably practical’ rule stands, so the employer (or the management team acting on behalf of the employer) has to show that he or she has acted reasonably to do what is possible, under the specific circumstances, to know what is going on and thereafter to put in place reasonable systems to remedy or address that.
Visible support from senior management will not only increase employee engagement with Work PositiveCI. It will also likely increase the resources available to drive workplace improvements within the Action Plan.