The importance of achieving workplace wellbeing and how the business 'stuck it to staff stress'
By Stuart Kellock, owner of Leicestershire based manufacturing firm Label Apeel
In need of some advice on company employee fitness and wellbeing, I decided that Label Apeel should participate in The Healthy Workplaces Programme run by The Fit for Work Team. I wanted to encourage staff to reconnect with their love for life and work and be better equip to deal with the stress of day to day existence.
The Fit for Work Teams Healthy Workplace Programme, funded by Leicestershire County Council, helped Label Apeel find the key areas that needed improvement. A survey identified that some of our staff were not eating healthily enough or getting sufficient exercise. It also revealed higher than average levels of stress.
Claire Gibbons business support manager, and I decided to tackle the stress levels immediately. We set up training on how to deal with employee anxiety and ran activities such as yoga classes, lunchtime walks and games of bowls to raise awareness of mental wellbeing
As a direct result the Healthy Workplaces Programme has worked really well for us. Everyone is happy, less stressed that bit fitter and healthier, which helps us keep those labels firing off the press. We have found the programme very easy to use and there has been little impact in terms of management time.
We were also really keen to reduce the number of staff who smoke. So we offered electronic cigarettes to encourage smokers to kick the habit – and a massive 23% of them did. We have also paid for staff to attend a course at Lougborough College where they learnt more about the importance of good nutrition, physical activity and how to manage their stress. More than half of all the company’s employees took part, and with noticeable results.
Other changes include a twice-weekly fresh fruit drop and a dedicated health and wellbeing notice board. We haven’t needed a big budget to make a difference: It’s been the little things that people have really responded to. They are now happier, more productive and engaged. The results are impressive and the figures speak for themselves. Even though our sales were down, profit went up by 30% – and that’s because staff were more productive and less stressed.
I estimate that these improvements translate to a saving of £40,000. When you consider that our operating profits for this same period of time are £65,000 that’s a huge saving achieved on a small budget.
Looking ahead, we are applying for match funding to install cycle storage and shower facilities so we can offer a cycle to work scheme. Staff have started a weekly weight loss group, others now do boxing training and six people are taking part in a 40 mile charity walk in September. We also plan to hold a family fun day in August, complete with sports day, to show that we can all keep fit and spend quality time with the family at the same time.