Practices and Combinations of Practices for Health and Wellbeing at Work: Case Studies Data, 2020-2021


These are qualitative interview data from seven case studies of organisations implementing workplace health and wellbeing strategies. The data consist of repeat interviews (up to three per participant) conducted over several months. Some 74 participants provided data in 192 interviews. Participants included those responsible for developing and implementing strategies and practices, as well as those who were targets of strategies and practices.On the one hand, the evidence of links between workplace health and wellbeing, employee engagement and work performance is robust and reliable. On the other hand, although some practices show promise of effectiveness, we do not have strong evidence that single workplace health and wellbeing practices by themselves - such as resilience training or mental health first aid training - reliably improve worker health, wellbeing, engagement and performance. In this research, we build on the observation that the leading organisations on managing employee health and wellbeing adopt a range of different practices (e.g. resilience training, workplace health promotion, management development), often combined in an integrated and coherent health and wellbeing strategy. We examine the factors that enable or hinder the implementation of workplace health and wellbeing practices and whether certain combinations of practices are more effective than other combinations, or effective for some types of organisations and not others. In these respects, we will consider the influence of factors in organisations' wider regional, sectoral and economic contexts as well as factors internal to organisations, including levels of engagement, health, wellbeing and performance prior to the introduction of new health and wellbeing practices. We will also examine what combinations deliver the best return on investment - that is the combinations of practices that are most cost effective. One central concept in our research is the notion of high quality work - that is work characterised by, for example, workers having a say in how they do their work, clear roles and performance expectations, manageable work demands, supportive co-workers and job security. We will investigate whether, for example, the features of high quality need to be present in a job for other health and wellbeing practices to have effects, or whether some health and wellbeing practices can compensate for otherwise low quality work. Our research has five major elements. First, we will use data from Britain's Healthiest Workplace Survey (BHW) to examine which combinations of health and wellbeing practices are most effective for which types of organisations. BHW is an annual survey that has been conducted over the past six years. The survey has collected data from over 600 organisations and around 100,000 employees. Participating organisations include smaller organisations and organisations from the public and private sectors. BHW collects data on a range of workplace health and wellbeing practices and outcomes, job quality, employee engagement, and organisational performance. Second, we will take a more detailed look at organisations in the survey and link survey responses to specific performance indicators in organisations, in order to get a more detailed and nuanced picture of workers' experience of workplace health and wellbeing practices and how these experiences may influence employee health, wellbeing, engagement and performance. Third, using questions on return on investment in BHW as well as other sources of data, we will look at which practices and combinations of practices are most cost effective for returning gains in worker wellbeing. Fourth, based on multiple interviews in a range of organisations conducted over a 12 month period, we will examine how organisations go about implementing health and wellbeing practices, and the different contextual factors that influence that process. Fifth, we will engage in an on-going process of integrating knowledge from the other four elements of the work in order to build an evidence-based model of how organisations implement different combinations of practices. The model will act as both a guide to practice and a basis for further refinement and development in future research.

Semi-structured interviews

Metadata Access
Creator Daniels, K, University of East Anglia; Baric, M, University of East Anglia; Fitzhugh, H, University of East Anglia; Nayani, R, University of East Anglia; Patey, J, University of East Anglia; Tregaskis, O, University of East Anglia; Watson, D, University of East Anglia
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2022
Funding Reference ESRC
Rights Kevin Daniels, University of East Anglia; The Data Collection is available for download to users registered with the UK Data Service.
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Text
Discipline Social Sciences
Spatial Coverage United Kingdom; United Kingdom