Karyn Mackenzie

Karyn Mackenzie

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:08

How to improve well-being at work

How to improve Well-being at Work

The well-being of employees in the workplace is an area which is rapidly growing in recognition and there is a need for employer well-being practices to address the psychological, as well as the physical, aspects of working life.


And and the impact this can have on an organisation and its employees.


Recent surveys have shown that just over one third of organisation have a formal well-being strategy or plan in place. A CIPD (2016) report found that over 90% of organisations who had implemented wellbeing into their wider people strategy found this to positive impact on their key organisational indicators.


Focusing on well-being benefits both the employee and the organisation can benefit greatly.  Well-being at work can be improved through following some simple steps:

  • Good communication is always important in organisations and this will allow employees to feel able to openly discuss any professional and personal problems they may have.  

  • Encouraging strong support networks within the workplace will help employees to address issues as they will not feel alone when tackling their problems.

  • Encourage all employees to communicate in other ways than just email. Ideally speaking face to face will help or even over the phone allows relationships and support networks to build.

  • Managers should set an example by encouraging and interacting with employees at every level to promote open communication.

  • Encourage a team/family culture and a spirit of “we are all in this together”.


These simple steps will work towards improving the health and well-being of employees which in turn will improve employee engagement, motivation, performance and absence levels. The average cost of sickness absence each year is £1500 per employee so some simple changes can save organisations money.


Another technique which is becoming more widely used is “the power of nudge”. Nudging takes place to everyone everyday without even noticing.  For example, do you wait for the green man before crossing the road? Or do you follow instructions on signs or traffic lights when driving?


This happens to employees in the workplace everyday and organisations can encourage positive ‘nudges’ through simple changes like office layouts, fitness competitions and how food is displayed. Google reduced their employee calorie intake by 3 million in 7 weeks in their New York office just by swapping unhealthy snacks from clear boxes to coloured snacks. It’s not just new and forward thinking companies like Google, Twitter and Fitbit who are nudging staff in a healthier direction, even the UK Government is using the power of nudge technique to encourage its employees and the rest of the UK to make healthier decisions.


If you would like to discuss a well-being policy for your business, or would like some ideas on how you can promote better health & well-being at work,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Thursday, 06 April 2017 12:34

What is the Gender Pay Gap all about?

What is the gender pay gap all about?

The gender pay gap is an international problem impacting employees all over the world from Hollywood stars to shop floor workers. Remember Jennifer Lawrence's essay where she questioned if she was at fault for not fighting hard enough to earn the same salary and benefits as her co-star Bradley Cooper in American Hustle? He earned double her salary in the hit film. This same issue goes on in all levels of jobs in all sectors today.


In the UK new regulations comes into force today (6th April 2016) which will require employers with 250 employees or more to complete and publish data showing the gender pay gap within their business. The first deadline for this information is 4th April 2018 and is a legal requirement for businesses to carry out, but unlike the equal pay gap, will not have such severe implications or penalties for the business.


What is the difference between the gender pay gap and the equal pay gap?

The gender pay gap is a difference in the average pay of men and women in the workforce, irrespective of their roles or seniority. The equal pay gap shows the differences in pay between men and women who carry out the same job, similar job or role of an equal value.


Why should we monitor the gender pay gap?

The current national gender pay gap as reported by the Office of National Statistics shows that men earn 18.1% more each year than women. This has a significant impact on women’s pension contributions as over their career they can earn up £47,000 less than their male counterparts as analysed by Zurich Insurance Group. This in turn can impact upon employee engagement, motivation and therefore productivity of the employee and in turn the business.


The main reasons for the gender pay gap?

Men are more likely to be in senior roles and therefore earn a higher salary than women as the majority of the female workforce work in lower paid sectors such as administration and caring. Women are also more likely to work part time or have more flexible roles due to family commitments which will also impact on their salary, pension and rewards.


Information which must be included to be published:

  • Average gender pay gap as a mean average

  • Average gender pay gap as a median average

  • Average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average

  • Average bonus gender pay gap as a median average

  • Proportion of males receiving a bonus payment and proportion of females receiving a bonus payment

  • Proportion of males and females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay.


This information will be made available online to the employer, employees and the general public allowing for greater public scrutiny. These new regulations will allow a true insight into the gender pay gap and allow comparisons to made to encourage improvements and celebrate successes. This will also allow both employers and employees to see the gap within their business and work together towards improvements.


Although closing the gender pay gap for good is far off, this is a big step in the right direction.  SCRSolutions Ltd feel that all sizes of businesses would benefit from conducting a gender pay gap analysis to highlight any potential area of inequality.  It will also help to identify potential areas of risk as and allow for plans to be put in place as your business grows, therefore avoiding any issues when the process becomes a legal requirement. 


If you feel your business could benefit from support in meeting the criteria of the new legislation, or would like to implement this policy before you are legislatively required to do so, please contact us on 01382 250333, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Our CIPD consultants are available to support you.