Case studies from Staffordshire employers

Here are some examples of good practice for supporting employee health and wellbeing from employers across Staffordshire:

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH)

SARH has delivered an ambitious programme of initiatives designed to improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of its 180-strong workforce.

As a values-based employer, Stafford’s leading provider of affordable homes believes encouraging and supporting employees to ‘Be the Best They Can Be’ delivers positive results for both the organisation and its customers.

This approach has seen SARH awarded a RoSPA Occupational Health Award Trophy, a ninth RoSPA Gold Medal, and recognition as the highest ranked housing association in the prestigious Sunday Times 2018 BEST 100 Not for Profit Companies to Work For list.

It was rated second overall and ahead of many household names and well-known national charities, testament to the organisation’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of its employees and a reflection of survey findings that show 93% feel they have a good work-life balance and 88% say their manager cares about them.

A key priority for SARH has been employee engagement, with Chief Executive Karen Armitage and the senior management team taking the lead.

Recognised at the HR Excellence Awards 2015 as Most People Focused CEO, Karen explained: “In 2015 we embarked on a mission to better support the health and wellbeing of staff through a planned programme of events, initiatives and training entitled ‘Your Wellbeing’.

“This is just one of four strands to our ‘Be the Best You Can Be’ internal communications strategy that also includes ‘Making a Difference’, ‘Investing in You’ and ‘Thanks a Million’.”

“This approach starts as soon as someone joins our organisation with a welcome meeting with me, followed by a full occupational health assessment. As staff are employed to deliver a wide variety of services, annual health assessments, surveys and clinics are made available to ensure they are supported in their roles.”

“For all employees, we believe in an innovative, inclusive and engaging approach to wellness and wellbeing that embraces training, support, feedback and events,” Karen added.

All employees are supported with advice and information when small changes in the workplace and cultural changes occur, alongside traditional health and safety risk controls and HR services and support.

The importance of mental health has also been recognised with annual ‘Being Well’ events focussing on the NHS 5 Pillars of Wellbeing. These ‘pillars’ include connecting with others, being active, taking notice of the things that give you joy, learning, embracing new experiences and giving your time to others.

To address physical health, events have been designed to encourage healthy eating, alongside a range of activities including weekly Pilates classes, mindfulness colouring stations, Clubbercise, Breast Cancer Awareness events and Carers in the Workplace sessions. These are offered alongside more traditional benefits such as subsidised eye tests and discounted local gym membership.

Visit the Stafford and Rural Homes website for more information.

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