Winner at The Engagement Excellence Awards in 2016:
Best wellbeing strategy
Equity Housing Group integrates a wellbeing strategy into their employee benefits platform and sees a reduction of sickness absence from 11.4 days per employee per year to 5.9 days, as well as a renewed positivity in work-life balance.
Social & Community
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Employee engagement platform, employee discounts, employee wellbeing
As an organisation, Equity Housing Group annually measures their employee engagement against the key performance indicators of the Best Companies engagement survey. Unfortunately, an outcome of the 2014/15 Best Companies Survey identified that ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Fair Deal’, two of the key criteria, were areas of poor performance. Research into wellbeing and overall employee engagement highlighted that wellbeing touched their employees in many areas – such as sickness absence, voluntary turnover levels and productivity in the workplace, to name a few.
Equity Housing Group reviewed the data of these factors and found that there were high levels of absence from work with personal-related stress being a contributory factor. On top of this analysis, feedback received from employee focus groups identified the need for a wellbeing programme that could encompass a wide range of initiatives and activities which would address a number of areas.
To kick things off, an onsite employee health screening initiative was launched which involved a 15-minute personal consultation with a health professional. Employees then received personal plans and the company received an overall wellbeing score with key information regarding areas of improvement. Once the results had been analysed, a wellbeing programme was produced to focus on key areas for the year ahead – fitness, mind, nutrition, and work-life balance.
Equity Housing Group were keen to give their people all of the necessary tools to focus on the key areas and, over the last 12 months, launched the following initiatives – lunchtime walking group, walking meetings, weekly running group (which took part in the Great Manchester 10k run and raised money for a local charity), monthly health and wellbeing newsletters, stress awareness courses, and Cycle to Work through Reward Gateway. A ‘Wellbeing' week was run too, comprising of various sessions and activities, including a smoothie bike, a repeat of health checks, massage chair, nutrition talks, Zumba and Tai Chi, table tennis, posture masterclasses, and mindfulness promotion.
To measure Equity Housing Group’s success, the most recent Best Companies results speak for themselves. They demonstrated a big improvement in employee engagement, as well as the key focus areas of both 'Wellbeing' and 'Fair Deal' seeing increased engagement over the last 12 months. Sickness absence rates have reduced too, from 11.4 days per employee to 5.9 days per employee, with voluntary turnover moving from 17.6% to 6.14%. This can be partially attributed to the stress awareness sessions, which saw approximately 65% of employees in attendance.
Equity Housing Group has now completed two years’ worth of health screenings, and the four areas identified as needing development – fitness, nutrition, mind, and work-life balance – have all seen hugely positive improvement over the last 12 months. Part of this success can be taken from an increase in applications for employees to work on a flexible basis. Accommodating these requests certainly assisted in a number of employees achieving a better work-life balance.
decrease in the number of sickness absence per employee
decrease in voluntary turnover