1 September 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
A British and International Standard that prioritises employee wellbeing and safety has been launched today.
BS ISO 27500, developed with input from BSI's ergonomics standards committee and co-authored by the committee's chair, Tom Stewart, a past president of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF), incorporates ergonomics and human factors knowledge and techniques to help businesses achieve a 'human-centred organisation' and act in socially responsible ways.
The standard sets out the core principles including enhanced health and safety, and improved workforce effectiveness and efficiency as a result of unifying the organisation in working towards a common goal.
In a statement the BSI said: "By taking this approach, staff will have greater confidence and trust in the organisation they are employed by, and will be more likely to feel motivated - helping to reduce staff turnover and build a stronger workforce."
Stewart, who is also deputy chair of the Council for Work and Health, said: "Human well-being is now widely recognised as an important economic measure to complement traditional measures of national output. Increasingly, organisations are not just expected to make a profit but also to take their responsibility to society very seriously. The two go hand in hand and companies that take social responsibility and strive to achieve this new standard will motivate employees, maximising their potential. As a result businesses will benefit from reduced staff turnover and increased customer focus."
BS ISO 27500 is directly aimed at executive board members and senior management, reiterating that human-centred change needs to be recognised from the top, and led by example. Having a board level champion for health, safety and wellbeing, and providing suitable training and a system rewarding staff, demonstrates that the organisation cares for its team, recognising their efforts and supporting their progression.