This case study describes the processes and interventions introduced by Somerset County Council to improve the wellbeing / quality of working life of their employees, including reducing workplace stress and the level of sickness absence within the organisation. There is very little real world data describing how an effective stress management process has been introduced and the impact it has had on key performance indicators such as sickness absence (e.g. Cooper et al, 1996). Accordingly, this type of information is valuable to those who are seeking to construct a business case in order to justify investment in activities to improve the wellbeing and quality of working life of their employees. The case study will therefore be of interest to both public and private sector organisations.
Details of specific interventions employed (including a breakdown of costs) and the associated reductions in sickness absence are provided. In addition, the case study draws attention to the connection between improving employees’ wellbeing or quality of working life and improving individual and organisational performance. The case study describes how initiatives aimed at these two areas have been run in parallel. Evidence suggests that the combined effect of these and other specified interventions have positively influenced sickness absence rates during the past three years. Finally, attention is drawn to other relevant research as well as identifying areas where processes