Health and Fitness

Health, well-being programmes help work relationships, reduce bullying, says study

By Jasleen Kaur -- November 20, 2021 6:11 pm -- Updated:Feb 15, 2021
A new study has found that participation in workplace health and welfare programmes can improve the quality of work relationships and reduce bullying.

The findings of the research have been published in the 'British Journal of Management'. Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA), working in collaboration with insurance and investments company Vitality, found that more employees engage with health and wellbeing programmes (HWPs) the better the quality of co-worker relationships, the less they experience bullying over time, and the better their longer-term wellbeing and job satisfaction.

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Unexpectedly, the results suggested that even when senior managers are not committed to these initiatives, employee engagement with health and wellbeing programmes is associated with better relationships at work and the same subsequent positive benefits.

The researchers said the findings are particularly relevant given the new patterns of working which have emerged as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Organisations are increasingly adopting health and wellbeing programmes yet further understanding is required of the underlying processes or conditions that may influence their effect on employee outcomes, such as wellbeing and job satisfaction.

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Programmes vary in scope and comprehensiveness, but can include a broad range of information, health screening and activities that attempt to reduce health risks, prevent chronic disease, support healthy behaviour or attempt to identify and change potential health-related problems.

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This three-year study used data from 7,785 UK employees at 64 organisations.
Lead authors Dr Roberta Fida and Dr Annilee Game, from UEA's Norwich Business School, said the evidence showed that promoting wellbeing interventions in the organisations has "unintended" positive consequences.

"While organisations may adopt these programmes primarily to target employee health and wellbeing directly, we found that employees' social relationships also benefit," said Dr Fida.

-PTC News

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