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In the last of our profiles of the winners from the 2019 Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards, we go behind the scenes with the OH team at defence engineering firm MBDA UK, winner of last year's “OH team of the year (private sector)”.
The leadership role occupational health practitioners can bring to bear both in an increasingly multi-disciplinary environment and within organisations more widely has been a key talking point within the profession of late.
And leadership, the ability to lead and direct the workplace health agenda, has been very much at the heart of the success of the occupational health team within defence engineering firm MBDA UK.
Winner of the “OH team of the year (private sector)” in last year’s Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards, the in-house OH team has been instrumental in transforming how the business which is based in Stevenage, Bristol, Bolton and London- approaches and supports the health and wellbeing of its 3,700 direct UK employees and 650 Contingent Workers.
As occupational health and wellbeing (OHW) manager Jacqui Savary explains: “I have been with MBDA UK for four years and when I came on board one of the key things I wanted to do was to work with the leadership team.
“I was having monthly meetings with the leadership team in order to support and engage them, to get their buy-in and help their understanding in what my vision was , what we were trying to achieve; how a healthy employee population is beneficial to the business all round.
“It has been very much about changing the model we had previously, which was more reactive. It has been about becoming more proactive and also giving employees the tools to help themselves,” she says.
Visibility and senior buy-in
At a practical level (and see the panel below for more on this), this leadership role has meant gaining senior level management and trade union buy-in for its activities and campaigns, with leaders attending training led by the OHW team and visibly supporting the OH referral process. The OHW team has also led on strategy creation and delivery alongside providing the day-to-day in-house OH service.
“We send out the health and wellbeing campaign themes for the year ahead to the top leadership team – which is known as The ‘CoDir’ – and they choose what themes they want to support and write a supportive statement. Sometimes they come back with two or three themes they are happy to go with,” explai