Library Dissertation Showcase

Examining the challenges of managing employee wellbeing in the workplace: what measures could Human Resource professionals implement to best support the business and its employees amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic?

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

This dissertation explores the phenomenon of employee wellbeing in the workplace, with a particular focus on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Within this broad subject, 4 topics were established to narrow down the area of research: Factors affecting wellbeing at work, existing wellbeing policies and practices, the challenges of managing employee wellbeing and finally recommendations of wellbeing support to inform future practice. Within these topics, the theme of HR responsibility for wellbeing support and management was woven throughout this dissertation. To explore these topics in detail, a critical literature review was conducted, which also provided additional background, historical literature surrounding wellbeing (Bradburn, 1969), analysed a case study (Pets at Home, 2020) and provided both professional body recommendations (CIPD, 2020a, 2020b) and recommendations of previous studies (Malinen et al., 2019, 2020). The primary research was designed after a gap in existing literature was highlighted: Research surrounding the impact on employee wellbeing of the Coronavirus in the UK which provides practical recommendations for organisations both during and post-pandemic. The primary research took the form initially of a questionnaire which explored wellbeing at work from an employee perspective, followed by semi-structured interviews to bridge gaps of data and validate existing themes, from the perspective of employees, managers and HR professionals. The evidence from this research found that most participants experienced wellbeing issues amid the Coronavirus pandemic and the vast majority did not seek support from their HR department or organisation, which resulted in a lack of awareness of wellbeing policies already in place. Of the wellbeing policies that were already in place, the Coronavirus pandemic caused a decrease in their implementation, yet more participants were struggling with their wellbeing. For this reason, and many others discussed in the data analysis chapter, it is essential for organisations to implement some element of wellbeing support, and this dissertation provided a variety of recommendations, from formal and informal policies, to training and education. Whilst every recommendation may not be practical nor appropriate for every organisation, with the variety of recommendations given, it provides an option for most organisations throughout the UK.

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