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COMPANIES LOSE AN average of 7.4 days a year per employee through sickness — costing roughly £740 each — according to Health Management, which helps organisations reduce the number of staff absences and improve productivity.
The average days absent at the Ringmer, East Sussex-based firm is 4.14 for team members and just 0.82 for managers, and this is due in part to the fact that 80% of the 299 workers have signed up to an online service that assesses their physical and mental wellbeing. Staff are also encouraged to visit the firm’s website to read advice on everything from giving up smoking to healthy eating and how to handle back pain.
While team members work 35 hours a week, supervisors put in 39 and senior bosses 40, but they do not feel that work interferes with their responsibilities at home (73% positive, a result bettered by only nine others).
All women are entitled to six weeks on full pay after having a baby and men can take a fortnight’s paternity leave. Partners can also link this to their annual leave, allowing them to have up to a month off. Health Management recently supported two same-sex couples following the arrival of their babies, which meant approving leave of up to 14 months in one case. Employees do not feel they spend too much time working (63%, ranking 21st) and tell us that they are happy with the balance between their work and home life (67%).
The company pays for two events per team each year, which could be lunch or an evening out bowling, and there are also regular inter-departmental get-togethers ranging from a curry and quiz night to greyhound racing, as well as Christmas and summer parties.
To celebrate Health Management’s 10th birthday last year, staff were taken to a surprise venue to enjoy food, drink and entertainment. As people left the venue they each received a jar of honey produced by managing director Andrew Noble’s hive. Worker bees at the firm feel people in teams go out of their way to help them (82%) and that colleagues care for each other (83%).
Fund-raising for good causes is matched by the company and every month there is a dress-down day and massages for which staff donate to an employee-nominated charity of the month. Health Management doubles the amount collected and is regarded as an organisation that puts enough back into the local community (68%, which is 25th).
Staff say the organisation encourages charitable activities (85%) but it not just because it wants good publicity (62%).
As an Occupational Health Provider, HML strongly supports the well being of their own staff. All staff are actively encouraged to use their on line well being tool (Health Manager) which not only provides an assessment of their physical and mental well being but also helps them put an action plan together to address specific issues. The scheme then asks for updates. Nearly 80% of staff have signed up to this. The company has also encouraged staff to visit their Health Matters website which contains information on everything from smoking cessation to health eating and how to handle back pain. In addition, they also conducted a pedometer challenge this year for staff where they were tasked with racking up as many steps as they could over a four week period. There was a high uptake by staff.
This year HML had their 10th anniversary and so they decided to give staff a bottle of sparkly and invite them to a 'secret' party. The location and entertainment was kept a secret until staff arrived. The event consisted of drinks, canapés and a meal and also a amazing range of entertainment. This included: a caricature drawer, hula-hoop demonstrators/teachers - staff were taught how to hula hoop, a 'walk about magician - part of the magic circle, a live gypsy jazz band, a long service and 'good fun' awards ceremony e.g. 'sweetest tooth', 'HML Hero'. As staff left the venue they received a gift of a jar of honey which had been made by the MD's bees!
At HML's Head Office, they strongly believe in supporting/giving back to the local community. This includes buying from local/sustainable resources e.g they get their milk from the local dairy farmer and fruit from the local green grocer, volunteering at local community groups e.g. HML provide staff to help with The Evergreen Club's Christmas/summer dinners, attending community association and parish council meetings, if appropriate and providing employment to local people.
Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here
Companies offering a minimum of 25 days annual leave
On-site gym or subsidised gym memberships
On-site nursery or vouchers
Dental insurance offer to all employees
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