Continuing our series profiling the Personnel Today Awards 2022 finalists, we take a look at the entries shortlisted in the Health and Wellbeing Award – Private Sector category, sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
Capgemini in partnership with Peppy
Consulting and digital transformation company Capgemini wanted to offer fully inclusive health and wellbeing support to all employees and their partners.
It wanted a solution tailored to the specific health and wellbeing needs of female talent and those assigned female at birth, including menopause and fertility, in order to support talent throughout the different stages of their lives and careers. It also wanted to encourage more men and those assigned male at birth to engage with their health and wellbeing, as they are statistically less likely to visit their GP.
It chose Peppy’s platform. Peppy provides human-led support via unlimited consultations, one-to-one chat and email assistance with clinical expert practitioners. These include experts in nutrition, personal training, mental health, fertility, early parenthood, menopause and all areas of men’s health. Users have 24/7 access to guidance on the app, while practitioners are available for consultations between 9am-9pm, ensuring the service fits around employees’ working hours and lifestyles.
Two events per week are run for users on specialist topics including breastfeeding and hormone replacement therapy. Monthly “ask the expert” webinars are also offered.
One employee said access to Peppy had “changed her life” and take-up of the service since its launch in October 2021 has been high.
Co-op in partnership with YuLife
With a workforce of 60,000, Co-op lacked the data that would help it fully understand the health of employees. It previously offered a traditional suite of benefits such as an EAP, season ticket loans and a cycle-to-work scheme, but these were not always meeting staff needs.
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It partnered with insurtech YuLife to help employees take small steps towards healthier lives. The platform combines health insurance protection with wellbeing activities. Employees are rewarded with ‘YuCoin’ for their participation in wellness activities, which can be exchanged for discounts and vouchers with leading brands including Nike, Amazon and Fitbit.
A pilot scheme was initially rolled out to 1,130 employees, with a goal of 1,000 downloads. However, within a month this target was exceeded, so it was rolled out to all staff in spring 2022 via events including a “logistics roadshow”, which resulted in a 43% sign-up rate.
YuLife’s data capabilities have helped Co-op understand the engagement and impact of its teams on a more granular level – by region, age and time of day.
One Co-op employee who uses YuLife said it had been “life changing” and claimed it had been more successful in motivating her to exercise than other methods.
Recognising that employee wellbeing in the hospitality sector has long been an issue, even before the pandemic, Dishoom felt 2022 had to be a seminal year. To truly offer what its employees needed, it spoke to staff to establish exactly what was important to them.
Each employee was asked about their wellbeing priorities and senior leaders were asked about best practice. Three wellbeing pillars were identified: mental, physical and financial wellbeing.
Physical wellbeing activities include free online group personal training classes, dance classes, a cricket league at Lords, a virtual running club and provision of free vegetarian and vegan meals while cafe teams are on shift.
On the mental wellbeing side, Dishoom offers regular mental health workshops hosted in Hindi to unpick cultural stigmas about opening up about wellbeing – 95% of its back of house team is South Asian. It also offers access to the Calm app, has built mental wellbeing into all new starter training, and managers have regular one-to-one chats with their teams. Changes have also been made to shift patterns, reducing double-shifts and late finishes to help prevent burnout.
To help employees’ financial wellbeing, pay has been increased and early access to wages via Wagestream is available. The Money Charity also hosts workshops to help staff learn how to budget and save.
Grosvenor Property UK
For property developer and management company Grosvenor, health and wellbeing is a key part of a five-year strategy to cultivate diverse, high-performing and values-driven teams. However, in the first 18 months of the pandemic, its mental health first aiders had been contacted by almost 25% of its people with concerns ranging from loneliness to work-life balance.
To help, it made 2021 a dedicated “year of wellbeing”, with particular focus given to pandemic-related challenges.
A fundamental part of this initiative was communication about its existing wellbeing benefits and services, including engagement from HR business partners and the executive team, a weekly email bulletin, weekly videos from the executive and dedicated intranet pages about the support on offer. Benefits include private healthcare, subsidised gym membership, and an employee assistance programme.
The team hosted a year of activities including mindfulness sessions, steps challenges, nutrition events, wellbeing and resilience training, health checks, a menopause policy and event and free meals.
It also introduced a variety of on-demand wellbeing services, including clinical hypnotherapy, mental health first aid courses on grief, suicide and loneliness, and two new wellbeing apps.
By June 2021, 80% of employees agreed that employee wellbeing was a top priority for the company, compared with 76% who said the same a year earlier.
Pets at Home Group
A company-wide survey in 2020 found that many colleagues at the Pets at Home Group wanted to learn more about their mental health and how to help those around them. The resulting approach was focused around four pillars: emotional, physical and nutritional, financial and social wellbeing.
For mental wellbeing, it forged a partnership with mental health educational company Talk Out. This enabled the company to deliver structured mental health training, which is particularly important in the emotionally intense veterinary profession. Mental Health First Aid training was delivered to one colleague in every vet practice and to key colleagues in support teams, stores and distribution centres, while all store managers and first line managers in distribution centres undergo a line manager’s mental health course.
It has already trained more than 624 colleagues as mental health first aiders and 247 line managers in mental health.
Although it has operated a colleague hardship fund for some time, this year it increased its investment by 50% to support workers through the cost of living crisis. Ninety per cent of applications made through the scheme have been approved in the past financial year and since March 2020 more than £900,000 in hardship grants have been paid out.
In order to support its ESG goals, staff are given a day’s paid leave every year to support causes that matter to them. Colleagues have donated 9,683 hours of time to supporting good causes, with 53% of participants focusing on local environmental projects.
In its most recent survey in May 2022, its wellbeing index was at 79%, an 8% increase on 2021. Some 80% of colleagues say they have friends at work in whom they can confide, that their managers demonstrate they care, and that they know where to access wellbeing information, help and support.
Housing association RHP Group offers a raft of wellbeing-related rewards and activities to encourage employees to be themselves at work and live healthier lives.
It’s flexible working programme, Your Work Your Way, is designed to help employees get the most out of their lives and help balance any life pressures that can impact wellbeing. Employees can work to a schedule that suits them, as long as they meet customer needs and their working pattern does not negatively impact their work, customers or colleagues.
Each individual receives a £30 wellbeing allowance per month to spend in ways that support their wellbeing, such as gym membership or dietitian advice. Wellbeing Wednesdays see the company explore a different theme, including how to improve sleep, managing low mood and connecting with nature.
Senior leaders and managers are encouraged to act as role models, by talking about their own mental health and wellbeing. It also uses employee-led storytelling to open up discussions about issues, including a recent series in which staff spoke about their hidden disabilities.
More than nine in 10 employees say they are satisfied working with RHP Group and 87% say the company cares about their health and wellbeing. Its sickness absence rate, not including Covid-related absence, is consistently below the UK average.
Weir Minerals Europe
Weir Minerals Europe, which provides mining equipment for organisations worldwide and employs 800 people across 13 EU countries and the UK, experienced challenges with morale and engagement. Staff felt unmotivated and many felt undervalued.
The HR team developed a new health and wellbeing strategy that encompassed the integration of a fully in-house occupational health team and health promotion campaigns, with the aim of moving towards a more proactive approach to wellbeing.
The expansion of the OH service and strategy was an integral part of its approach. All colleagues have access to health and lifestyle medicals, flu vaccinations and a drop-in centre where they can discuss any health concerns. Since developing this dedicated, in-house OH support, colleague absence and sickness rates have fallen from 5.1 to 2.2.
To improve motivation and morale, an experienced workplace counsellor was brought in to host a mental fitness ‘bootcamp’. It was available to the entire WME workforce and initially comprised of four, one-hour interactive online sessions over the course of four weeks. The sessions were attended by several hundred people and received positive feedback.
During the Covid pandemic, it formed a response team to support colleagues with furlough, return to work, testing and PPE. It also introduced a virtual cafe where colleagues could connect when working remotely. More than 3,000 welfare calls were made by the team and 21,000 Covid-19 tests were administered in house.
The business estimated that its initiatives have saved it £405,000. Staff retention has increased by 8%.
For motorway service area operator Welcome Break, it became clear though its team member survey that financial concerns were a worry, particularly for those who had been on furlough. It mental health support package therefore includes specialist financial and debt help, as well as support for other issues.
Staff were able to take out loans that could be repaid directly from their wages, allowing them to get back on track without being forced to use costly payday loans. Appropriate checks and balances were put in place to ensure employees’ financial security, while those with low credit scores were supported through the process. The service also provides help and advice on savings.
A team of mental health first aiders are dispersed across the business to support colleagues when needed. However, in recognition of the pressures that often come with this role, monthly meetings are held for MHFAs to act as a safe space for them to seek support and to share ideas and best practice.
By encouraging employees to be proactive about seeking help, the company saw a 24.7% increase in occupational health referrals, between 2020 and 2021. In 2021, it had a lower percentage of employees with psychological disorders than the industry average.
Yodel delivers around 180 million parcels per year and operates in a highly competitive marketplace. Demand for its services were even higher during the pandemic, when online shopping surged and staff were involved in distributing Covid-19 tests and other essentials. This led to numerous challenges, including an increase in mental health related absence.
It began its mission to become a mentally healthy workplace. The first year of this programme had five objectives – all of which were achieved by the company These included reducing the stigma that can exist around mental health, ensuring every employee knew how to access wellbeing support, and promotion of self-care.
A team of mental health first aiders are deployed around its network. Each volunteer has a key information card that they can attach to their lanyard, so they have support numbers to hand when talking to colleagues. The MHFAs have access to a bespoke app which allows them to keep in contact with other MHFAs, store signposting material, and log the types of conversations they are having with colleagues to help the company spot trends.
Managers are this year being trained in five key topics: menopause, suicide prevention, men’s health, domestic abuse and addiction. Yodel is also one of the first employers to partner with Essex Police to deliver domestic abuse training to all management teams.
More than three-quarters of employees who responded to a recent survey agreed that communication about wellbeing from the company is clear and effective, and more than three-quarters agreed they were aware of the help and support available to them if they felt overwhelmed.