Sir Robert McAlpine
Sir Robert McAlpine's remit is UK-wide, but their approach to staff health and wellbeing is local.
“Sir Robert McAlpine has been appointed as Principal Contractor for a ten-year framework at Broadgate, as part of British Land and GIC’s long-term vision to improve office space, retail, amenities and open space. As part of this, we are concentrating on improving the health and wellbeing provision within the construction industry.
Over the past year, we have been running a number of wellbeing initiatives for both our office staff and the people who work on our construction sites. For those on site, this has included providing health checks with different focusses each week – for example, we held a “Diabetes Week” and a clinic for “Know Your Numbers!”, where 16 people were referred to their GP due to raised blood pressure. This has been supported by talks and information available on site. Through Prostate Cancer UK, a retired doctor delivered a talk to workers, which was very well received. Two workers approached the speaker afterwards to discuss some symptoms and suggested they would be getting themselves checked up.
We also arranged for comedian and men’s health expert, John Ryan, to hold a comedy set on site. This was an amusing way to get a serious health message out to the workforce in a way that was more appealing to the workforce.
In the office, we offer weekly 10 to 15-minute mini back and shoulder ‘desk massages’ for all staff. This was trialled in 2016 as a Christmas treat for the office staff. Each quarter we have to renegotiate its continuity and value by office feedback and uptake. The service therapy offers an online anonymous survey, which is an extremely useful tool for assessing what people want, need, and how they feel, about their workplace stressors and wellbeing events.
We also held a ‘Men’s vs. Women’s Health Month’ in October 2017. During this, two static bikes were made available for one day, where men and women competed against one another to travel the furthest distance.
Mental Health has been a huge focus for us, which has inspired us to run events for Mental Health Week, including holding a presentations with mental health charity Mind and another with Natasha Donovan, a meditation session with City based FISU Meditation, and a ‘tea and talk’ day in the office.
Last year, we participated in the Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s Green Ribbon campaign, encouraging everyone to donate £1 to wear a green ribbon to raise awareness of reducing the stigma around talking about mental health in the workplace. It received a really positive response and as a result we will be participating again in 2018.
Further to this, we also relaunched our EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) by inviting a spokesperson for the EAP provider in for Question & Answer session with anyone who wanted to know more details about its function and resource opportunities.
We work closely with the Lighthouse Charity – also known as the Construction Industry Helpline. They visited each of our sites, giving presentations to groups of workers to inform them of the importance of this charity, explaining it is their safety net in times of need, whether financial, social or personal. It is ran by industry funding, for any construction workers who do not have the opportunity to benefit from an EAP.
Sir Robert McAlpine’s first initiative of 2018 focused on drugs and alcohol awareness. We invited WDP Square Mile Health – a free service offered to City employers – to deliver workshops on each of our City sites. These talks were really well received, engaging, informative and fun. We are working with WDP Square Mile Health again as part of a lung health awareness promotion, where their stop smoking advisors will be on-site to support any current smokers thinking about quitting.
Moving forward in 2018, we are working on providing a more structured and focussed wellbeing support to our staff. To do this, we have sent out a survey to find out the needs of the workforce. We are in the process of developing a 12-month plan, which will be introducing support for financial wellbeing.”