Month: December 2015

Merry Christmas

All of us here at the What Works Centre for Wellbeing would like to wish you a merry Christmas with health, happiness and wellbeing for the new year! We’ve had a great year and really value the continued support from our partners, stakeholders and followers. We’re looking forward to an exciting 2016 when we’ll be announcing our evidence workplans and sharing the findings from both our continued consultation and  public dialogue project. → What you can do to improve your wellbeing over the festive period.        ...

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Wellbeing in work: how leaders value quality of life and approaches to job design

Do leaders in the workplace value quality of life and how could a different (behavioural and adapative) approach to job design affect wellbeing at work? How leaders value quality of life was the focus of a recent study by Sodexo, the on-site services provider . 780 interviews were carried out with leaders of Companies, Universities and Hospitals in six countries . →Detailed results →Key findings below: Leaders value quality of life and link it to organisational performance The driving forces behind this are demands of the ‘end user’; a younger user with shifting needs; and political pressure. There a number of obstacles; the biggest being the shift from cost to investment. The lead of our Work and Learning team,  Prof Kevin Daniels presented on Job design as part of the ongoing CEP wellbeing seminars at LSE. → Slides: Understanding Wellbeing at Work with an Adaptive and Behavioural Approach to Job Design He outlined weaknesses in current guidance for minimising and improving wellbeing at work through enhancing the design of people’s jobs  and went on to present an alternative approach focused on how workers interact with and act upon their work environment, and the reasons why they behave in the way that they do. In particular, Kevin focused on the many ways in which workers use two important aspects of high quality jobs – the latitude to take decisions that affect how workers do their jobs and the support workers...

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How leaders value quality of life in their organisations

Sodexo, the worldwide on-site services group set up their Quality of Life Institute in 2009. It is founded on the conviction that improving Quality of Life leads to the progress of individuals and contributes to the performance of organizations. The Institute for Quality of Life has conducted an international survey among top leaders and key decision makers to measure how leaders value quality of life within their organisations. Between November 2014 and January 2015, 780 interviews were carried out in six countries (Brazil, China, France, India, the United Kingdom and the United States) and three sectors (Companies, Universities and...

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How the environment gets into the body

Jess Mookherjee Consultant in Public Health at Kent County Council @JessMookherjee   I’m curious why there are people who still struggle to get a clear picture of the potential for public mental health. For me, public mental health has a fundamental part to play in behaviour change and tackling health inequalities. In fact public mental health can help to answer how the ‘environment’ gets inside the body. I studied human evolution and biological anthropology at UCL. This fascinating series of courses helped me to learn how important social interaction is to our biology, and also how evolving, as we did in the dangerous savannahs of Africa, – it paid off for us to have a pretty well functioning nervous system that could quickly alert us of danger. It wasn’t just the sight of tigers that caused fear in our evolutionary history, but it was also other people. We are such an intensely social species that feeling left out, isolated from others, shamed and humiliated – often has fatal consequences.   My second epiphany – was reading Richard Wilkinson’s “Mind the Gap: Hierarchies and Human Evolution”. Later I read everything else by him and Michael Marmot and I would urge others to do the same. What Richard articulated so well for me was the link between the psychological and the social worlds and how both could rapidly become biological i.e how feeling...

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