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The Free Programme Helping Local Business Put Staff Health First

09 Feb

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on every aspect of our lives, not least within the world of work. Though restrictions are now gradually easing away, possibly to become a thing of the past entirely, there is no denying that the pandemic has raised questions around the way we work that are likely to stick around for much longer.

As a result, it’s never been more important for organisations across all sectors to make sure employee health and wellbeing is put first.

Two local businesses who have been spurred to do just that are TES Group and AES Global. Both businesses have recently signed up to Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke’s Work Well Live Well programme. Here, we hear from them about how they’ve found the programme so far.

What is Work Well Live Well?

Work Well Live Well is a free health and wellbeing support service run by Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS) and funded by the Public Health Agency. The NICHS Work Well Live Well team help organisations to identify the health risks that are most relevant to their staff, and work with you to create and deliver a bespoke action plan to help improve employee wellbeing.

Changes made through the plan can be as simple as greater access to healthy snacks or incentivised exercise, but the programme also concentrates on improving mental health and sleep, managing stress and reducing risk factors associated with heart disease.

TES photo 1

TES Group

“The support and guidance from NICHS is fantastic.”

TES Group, a water and power engineering company based in Cookstown, joined the Work Well Live Well programme and have found numerous benefits already to their organisation. Employee Brian McElroy describes how TES Group have found being part of the programme so far…

Q: Why did TES sign up for the Work Well Live Well Programme?

As a Company, TES values our employees. We wanted a plan to help support the improvement of the health and wellbeing of everyone that works here.

Q: How have you found the programme so far?

The programme is great and the training provided to each of our Health Champions at the beginning was excellent.

Q: What does TES Group hope to achieve as a result of the programme?

We want to help support the health and wellbeing for all of our staff on an ongoing basis. Not just decided by us but by asking them via surveys what areas we could focus on. Their ongoing input will help us succeed.

Q: What would you say to another organisation considering signing up to the programme?

Highly recommend – the support and guidance from NICHS is fantastic and it’s definitely a benefit for employers and employees.

AES photo 1

AES Global

“NICHS provide an excellent service throughout the whole program and have been there for any queries or materials we have needed.”

AES Global is a door & gate intercom manufacturer also based in Cookstown. Rachel Loughrin, Marketing & HR Manager, describes just some of the reasons why the organisation has joined the Work Well Live Well Programme.

Q: Why did AES Global sign up for the work well live well program?

With COVID hitting hard for so many people, we felt the Work Well Live Well Programme would help us implement realistic and achievable initiatives to assist with promoting healthy wellbeing for our staff.

We were looking for help to drive workplace wellbeing initiatives forward and find out more about which initiatives we should promote, as well as to get support for staff to increase their knowledge of how to adopt healthier lifestyles in the workplace. Overall, we see the programme as a helping hand with improving employees mental and physical health.

Q: How have you found the programme so far?

So far, the program has been fantastic for our workplace. From day one Stephanie has been available for any enquiries we had and is great with providing us with all the materials needed to begin promoting any initiatives we’re interested in. Both training sessions were fun and engaging for our employees that attended and everyone took away the knowledge needed to thrive as a health champion.

Q: What does AES Global hope to achieve as a result of the programme?

Overall, we just wanted to improve the amount of information we could offer employees while assisting with opportunities to help employees adopt and maintain a healthier lifestyle both physically and mentally.

We now have our specific goals from the second health champion training session, which include having at least 35% of staff meeting physical activity and fruit and veg recommendations and guidelines, and for all staff to be offered access to awareness information around our chosen health areas like drugs, alcohol, smoking, sleep and mental health by the end of year 1. We also aim to offer support around musculoskeletal health to all staff. It’s great to have goals that are realistic and measurable to work towards.

Q: What would you say to another organisation considering signing up to the programme?

It’s a great opportunity for all organisations who want to improve their health and wellbeing initiatives. Employee engagement has been fantastic throughout the whole process and many employees have taken a huge interest in the program and want to drive initiatives. Already employees are reaching out to try to arrange talks and taster sessions for staff. NICHS provide an excellent service throughout the whole program and have been there for any queries or materials we have needed.

Get Involved

Fidelma Carter, Director of Public Health at NICHS, explains; ‘There’s never been a more crucial time to check on your employee’s health – the pandemic will have affected people, both mentally and physically, in ways you may not have considered. The average worker will spend almost 85,000 hours at work over the course of their career. It is vital that those hours are safe, happy and healthy.’

Could your organisation benefit from support to improve staff health and wellbeing?

Register your workplace for Work Well Live Well - Visit www.nichs.org.uk/workwelllivewell or email healthpromotion@nichs.org.uk

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