At the ESRC: Economic and Social Research Council PrOPEL Hub we were delighted to deliver two workshops as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science on 31 October.

Both workshops – hosted by Strathclyde Business School – focused on a key theme for our work at ESRC PrOPEL Hub: how workplace practice can foster employee wellbeing, engagement and performance. Both workshops involved interactive exercises that helped business leaders, policy stakeholders and people managers attending to explore their own practice and share challenges in promoting workplace wellbeing.

Workshop 1 started with Professor Colin Lindsay (MCIPD) of University of Strathclyde sharing insights from recent ESRC-funded research conducted with more than 3,500 employees about workplace factors shaping engagement and wellbeing. The evidence-based insights suggest that specific ‘fair work’ practices – such as broadening workplace learning opportunities and empowering people to engage in Job Crafting – might be crucial for people’s wellbeing in the workplace. Our ESRC PrOPEL Hub colleague Nicola Murray (PhD) then led our interactive workshop helping participants to share good practice in facilitating job crafting and overcoming barriers to change.

Workshop 2 focused on exploring and embedding workplace wellbeing based on ‘5 Evidence-based Principles’. Led by our University of East Anglia colleague Dr Helen Fitzhugh the workshop articulated the business case for action on workplace wellbeing, and challenged participants to review their approaches to wellbeing and embed a wellbeing culture in their organisations. Helen also introduced participants to the invaluable tools developed by her team at Evolve Workplace Wellbeing.

We were grateful to receive really positive feedback from participants, with all those responding to our evaluation survey agreeing that they would be sharing insights with colleagues and many suggesting that they would make changes informed by the evidence discussed.

“So interesting and thought provoking, I thought I knew what workplace wellbeing was but this has given me such a better understanding of what it is and how to achieve it realistically.” (Workshop participant)

“Thank you very much. I attended both sessions and am returning to my team and organisation with a focus for my wellbeing efforts.” (Workshop participant)

We are grateful to the ESRC Festival of Social Science for helping us to extend the reach and impact of our research, and to all participants for their engagement.

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