When I was growing up in Letchworth there were many large manufacturing companies and my father worked for one. Several had active sports and social clubs which helped build employee engagement and motivation. Most were created and run by their employees, but often funded in part by the employers. They gave staff the opportunity to take part in activities that they might not otherwise have considered and unwind and interact with their peers.
In a small way our own wellness programme, and the company events that we run, are as a result of the good memories that I have of going to these social events with my father, with the highlight of the year always being the works Christmas panto.
A few years ago, we were happy to become the main sponsor of the local amateur dramatic society panto and it has become a regular event for our employees and their children and grandparents to attend. It has also become a bit of a tradition for me to appear in the advert that we place in the programme. This year, as the panto is Sleeping Beauty, I am delighted to be shown as the handsome prince!
There is an increasing amount of awareness on mental health and I have heard people say that it was not a problem 30 years ago. An old business philosophy that still rings true today, perhaps more than ever, is that a happy workforce is a productive one.
A large part of our 2019 wellness programme has been the ‘Monthly Challenge’. These challenges involve a wide variety of activities including an obstacle course, wall sits, hydration and a Halloween themed pumpkin hold challenge.
We have also invested in training 3 employees to be Mental Health First Aiders, and have staff social events, such as go-karting. We regularly take part in fundraising/charity events, cake sales are always a favourite! Our efforts towards wellness this year culminated in us being nominated for a national award for Wellness Initiative.