Research findings: Line managers are key to employees’ experience and their wellbeing


Line managers are the first port of call for remote working and workplace-based employees when they have concerns around their health and wellbeing.

Line managers and employee wellbeing

However, provision of training to help managers offer adequate support and detect concerns isn’t as widespread as it could be.

According to the Employee Wellbeing Research 2021 report, published by REBA in association with AXA Health, 65% of employers say their line mangers are a first point of contact for staff wellbeing when working from home.

Yet, only 55% have put training in place to bolster line managers’ skills in this area.

“Line managers are the lynchpin in turning wellbeing strategies from policy into lived behaviours,” says the report. And the pandemic has put greater focus on this aspect of their job as they tend to be the individuals most frequently in touch with people having to work home.

Given the health challenges employers have endured and are still enduring as a result of Covid-19, training for line managers needs to be expanded, the report says.

It also highlights that line manager expertise is being underutilised when it comes to shaping high-level wellbeing decisions. For example, only 39% of employers say they consult with managers when developing their wellbeing strategy. Just over half (54%) say they use line managers’ insight help to identify wellbeing issues that could be a future business risk.

“If line managers truly are the ‘eyes and ears’ of an organisation it would make sense to tap into their knowledge to help design wellbeing strategies that are relevant and fit for purpose,” the report adds.

Download a copy of the 72-page Employee Wellbeing Research 2021 (free to REBA Professional Members and all those working for REBA Associate Members).

The author is Rima Evans, freelance contributor. 



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