Flexible Working and Trust
These are two of the main criteria that Professor Cary Cooper CBE would recommend considering when looking to achieve a better level of health and wellbeing at work.
Last Friday, Professor Cooper, a distinguished professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School, was the keynote speaker at Jersey International Business School’s HR Forum. He presented his talk to a full house of HR Professionals and Senior Managers, and then led a Q&A breakout session in order to explore the topics of the day – the costs resulting from a lack of focus on wellbeing at work, sources of stress, and what individuals and organisations can do to enable a better work-life balance in people’s lives.
Some of the Take-Aways from the Forum
There was a lot of good material and reference to some excellent surveys so I have just listed a few take-aways that stuck in my mind:
- Good managers are socially sensitive – they need to manage the fears of people
- Empower the employee – trust them and offer the opportunity of flexible working, including the chance to work from home
- Flexible working opportunities that have been offered to ‘all’ employees, and not just mothers or carers, have resulted in an increase in wellbeing and productivity
- ‘Walking the Talk’ – with reference to Tesco’s boss, Sir Terry Leahy, who lead international expansion, increased market share and put Tesco in position as the UK’s largest retailer. During his 14-year tenure Leahy kept in touch with front line employees and customers by visiting a Tesco store somewhere every week, normally on a Friday
- People at the coalface are innovative; they know what their problems are
- Ban the intranet – improve communications and increase operational efficiency. Mobile phone company Phones 4u were the first UK company to successfully trial this move
- Approach problems within an organisation like a doctor would a patient – do tests, make an analysis/diagnosis and find a solution
A full Interview with Professor Cary Copper CBE will be published in Issue 2 of Strategic Intelligence, the thought-leadership journal published by the Jersey International Business School.
Feedback from Delegates
“A tremendous experience!”
“National level insight from Cary”
“Made me think outside the box”
“So good to have this calibre of speaker locally”
“Q&A was very useful, connections between wellbeing and productivity”
Wellbeing: Productivity and Happiness at Work by Robertson, I and Cooper, CL (2011). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Doing the Right Thing: The Importance of Wellbeing at Work by Theobald, T. And Cooper, CL (2012), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan—this is a new and really important HR type book
Something Happened by Joseph Heller – Heller’s funny, honest and tragic tale of a failed American dream.