Sustaining engagement: why health and wellbeing are vital

By Emma Donaldson-Feilder  @EmmaDF_Affinity and Rachel Lewis @rachelclewis11 Affinity Health at Work

It is now well established that employee engagement is important for individual and organisational performance. However, as we emphasized in our webinar – slides available to download from the link below – if performance is to be sustained over time, it is important that employees are not only engaged, but also supported to look after their health and wellbeing. Employers, and particularly line managers, need to consider how they boost employee engagement and at the same time protect and enhance employee health and wellbeing.

Our research has looked specifically at what line managers need to do to enhance engagement while also protecting wellbeing. From the research findings, we developed a behavioural framework that sets out a series of indicators to help managers identify whether they are showing the appropriate behaviours or not – these are listed in a guidance document  that can be given to managers. The five broad themes of ‘positive manager behaviour’ emerging from the research suggest that managers need to:
o Be open fair and consistent

  • Handle conflict and problems
  • Have knowledge and clarity and give guidance
  • Build and sustain relationships with their team
  • Support employee development

In previous research , we have shown that managers can be helped to change their behaviour through provision of feedback and learning and development activities. However, research also shows that carrying out management development of this type in organisations is hard, and maintaining change is even harder. The context in which management development takes place is important to its success.

This means that investment in management development may be wasted if organisations do not create an appropriate context in which to support and develop managers and ensure that interventions are as effective as possible. Our current research has been exploring these vital contextual factors and we are in the process of developing checklists to help organisations explore whether they have these in place. You can join our mailing list to be informed when these are published.

View the PowerPoint presentation: What works for developing positive manager behaviour in organisations


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