Public invited to have its say over H&S issues

Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article The first-ever public meeting of the two bodies regulating the health ofBritain’s workers was held in January. The meeting of the HSE and HSC was attended by more than 300 guests fromcompanies, unions and professional associations, local and national governmentand the public. They met to tell the HSC what they thought of its draft strategic plan for2001 to 2004. HSC chairman Bill Callaghan said: “This is an opportunity for all thosewith a stake in the health and safety debate to influence the way we prioritisehealth and safety in this country” The plan proposes eight key programmes of activity, on top of regulatingBritain’s railways and the major hazards industries. Three industries are being specifically targeted – construction, agricultureand the health sector. In all these, the HSC has said there is a pressing need for health andsafety improvements. A further four programmes are set to prioritise specific issues –musculo-skeletal disorders, work-related stress, workplace transport and fallsfrom heights. There is also a priority to reduce slips, trips and falls in the localauthority-enforced sector. Public invited to have its say over H&S issuesOn 1 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. read more

Patients heed warning on antibiotic resistance

People are becoming less inclined to pressurise their doctors into prescribingantibiotics for conditions such as sore throats, research has found. The survey of 100 GPs in England, Wales and Scotland for Crookes Healthcareshowed patients were getting the message that they do not always needantibiotics. More than half the GPs had reported less pressure from patientsfor antibiotics over the past two years. And one in five (20 per cent) had noted a definite reduction in requests forantibiotics, while 36 per cent had seen little reduction. But nearly one in 10 said the vast majority of their patients still expectedan antibiotic for a sore throat. The main reason for the decline was that more people were now prepared toleave without an antibiotic. Dr Ian Williamson, senior lecturer at Southampton University, said thesurvey showed concern over antibiotic resistance continued to grow among thepublic. But he added: “With nearly one third (31 per cent) of GPs saying thathalf their patients still expect an antibiotic for a sore throat, there isstill a need for further education of patients.” Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Patients heed warning on antibiotic resistanceOn 1 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. read more


first_imgA round-up of news from the professional journalsBiological warfare Nurses have been urged not to wait for NHS officials to pass on informationon biological weapons. “Get the information” is the message frominfection control nurse Lynda Taylor, who has been appointed to a Public HealthLaboratory Service (PHLS) taskforce on deliberate releases of potentiallyharmful substances. She was responding to claims that, although frontlinenurses had received information on anthrax, few had been given details onbotulism, plague and smallpox. Nursing Standard 31 October 2001 Ethical recruitment The Government has issued a code of practice to crack down on the unethicalrecruitment of nurses and other healthcare professionals from overseas, amidgrowing concern that the UK is depriving developing countries of their nurses. Nursing Times 18 October 2001 Nursing homes Nursing homes could be scrapped and replaced by services that people receivefrom the comfort of their own homes, a government minister has hinted. Healthminister Jacqui Smith was giving evidence on the Government’s healthexpenditure at the parliamentary health select committee. Nursing Times 23 October 2001 Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. BriefingOn 1 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Councils react to league tables

first_img Comments are closed. Councils react to league tablesOn 7 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. With the release of the recent Comprehensive Performance Assessment leaguetables, Paul Nelson looks at the impact the results will have on the country’shigh and low ranking local authoritiesMany local government HR teams are reviewing their policies and practices ascouncils consider how to respond to the sector’s first performance leaguetables. The Comprehensive Performance Assessments (CPA), carried out by the AuditCom- mission, are designed to help authorities improve services by highlightingpoor performance. The 150-county, metropolitan, unitary and London councilshave been judged – on a one to five scale – in 10 different areas, includingquality of services, use of resources and ability to improve. Based on the scores they have then been divided in to five categories;excellent, good, fair, weak and poor. District councils will be audited later this year. The 22 authorities rated excellent will now be allowed to get on with theirwork without any inspection for three years, while the 54 good councils willreceive far less auditing than in the past. Poor and weak authorities – 22 and 13 respectively – will be targeted withan audit programme that could involve special management teams being brought infrom other councils, and other agencies drafted in as a last resort. The new performance regime represents a radical approach to improving localgovernment services and has had a mixed reaction from the sector, which issuffering crippling skills shortages and recruitment and retention problems. But the new league tables could act as the trigger for change. Terry McDougall, assistant chief executive (HR) at ‘poor’ Hackney Council,told Personnel Today that her council is to implement a HR database, measurethe authority’s workforce diversity and introduce a new payroll system as adirect result of CPA. She feels the process is of more benefit to under-performing councils thanthose succeeding as it will help implement a change programme and focusresources on areas that need it. McDougall said: “It [CPA] lays out the stalls. Once a council hasfailed, the only way it can go is up. While excellent authorities can only godown. I would not want to be at Camden [an excellent authority] even if mysalary was doubled. It is much harder to maintain high standards thanimprove.” Local government HR body Socpo is broadly supportive of CPA providing it isimplemented and managed correctly. Socpo president Francesca Okosi believes performance tables can bebeneficial as long as they are used as a positive force for change and not as anaming and shaming process. “I am determined to see it as a positive – although I was cynical aboutit in the beginning,” she said. “No authority is poor; if CPA is seen as a snap shot at a point in timeand viewed as an authority’s starting point then it could work. There is lifeafter being viewed as a poor or weak authority.” CPA provides a great opportunity for HR professionals to increase theirstrategic influence, according to Socpo vice-president Mary Mallett. “There is a lot in CPA for HR practitioners to get their teeth in toand to drive service performance. The whole process is good for HR people whowant to get to the top table and make their voice heard, as it is a strongindicator that people deliver services and an organisation’s capability tochange.” She does fear that under-performing councils could suffer increasedrecruitment and retention problems as a result of the rankings – especially inthe south of England. “Individual councils with a negative ranking will find it hard toattract and retain staff, and keeping morale up among existing staff will bedifficult when they have been told they deliver poor services,” saidMallett. It is not just under-performing councils that could suffer increased retentionproblems following the CPA ratings. Peter Rogers, chief executive at Westminster Council – rated excellent – isconcerned that his authority will now have good staff poached by lower-ratedcouncils that need to improve services, as well as by the private sector. “It is almost inevitable that our staff will be poached by privatesector firms and staff at top councils will have much better job prospects anduse this to move on to other authorities,” he said. “The stability of staff is what has achieved excellent status in thefirst place, while bottom ranked councils will struggle to keep and recruitstaff because of the new stigma.” There are also concerns over the time and resources that councils have tospend preparing for the new auditing process. Jan Parkinson, strategic director of HR at Gateshead Metropolitan BoroughCouncil – also rated excellent – is relieved that as a top rating council, herauthority will be freed from inspection for the next three years. “When they inspect they suck in a lot of resources. This allows us torelease capacity, time and energy and re-focus it into the delivery of servicesand improving internal processes,” she said. Parkinson believes audits and inspections should be used to targetparticular areas and services in need of improvement. She is concerned thewide-ranging and prescriptive nature of the CPA adds bureaucracy and couldactually interfere with improvements. Socpo’s Mallett, who is also strategic director of organisation anddevelopment at top ranking Kent County Council, also has concerns over thebureaucratic nature of CPA. “It is amazing how much time is taken up by gathering the data,meetings and programmes for inspections,” she said. “Now we can justget on with doing them instead of all the bureaucracy. “They [the inspections] take people’s eyes off the ball as they spendall their time working and worrying about it.” All HR professionals are in agreement that councils must share best practiceto improve the overall performance and image of the sector. Socpo’s website will have a dedicated page on CPA where HR professionals candiscuss experiences and share knowledge and best practice. CPA has been introduced despite the opposition of the unions. Unison believes councils should be free of inspections and that the wholeCPA process is a waste of money. It claims the estimated £1bn cost of the project would have been betterspent training frontline managers and staff and increasing pay to attract and retainemployees – only time will tell. Council working towards improvementsWalsall Council is an example of howthe worst performing councils will have to respond if they fail to improveservices.The authority was forced to sack its entire management team,including the head of personnel, in July 2002 as a result of having receivedbad reports from Ofsted and the Department of Health.The council recruited an interim chief executive and managementteam, which must prove to local government minister Nick Raynsford that theauthority is improving its performance before a permanent management team canbe appointed.Poor performing councilsBedfordshireCoventryHackney (London)Islington (London)Kingston-upon-HullLambeth (London)North East LincolnshireNorth TynesideSwindonTorbayWakefieldWalsallWaltham Forestlast_img read more

The Royal Mail delivers lesson in back to basics

first_img Previous Article Next Article The Royal Mail delivers lesson in back to basicsOn 28 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The Royal Mail is sending its new chief executive and three non-executivedirectors on a week of delivery rounds to learn some of the basics of thebusiness. Chief executive Adam Crozier and non-executives Richard Handover, MikeHodgkinson and John Neill will join postmen on their rounds at 5am and help inthe sorting offices. The ‘back to the floor’ initiative is championed by chairman Allan Leightonwho has undertaken work experience in a number of postal roles. The board’snine other members have also gone back to the shopfloor. Jonathan Evans, Royal Mail Group’s company secretary, said all the firm’snew directors would deliver mail, work in sorting offices and Post Officebranches and take calls in customer service centres to help them get a feel forthe business. “Our new directors want to get a good feel for the business not just inthe boardroom but also on the shopfloor – and it’s crucial they do. “We want to make Royal Mail a great place to work, but it will only beby talking to people as they do their jobs, and appreciating what gets in theway of it being a great place to work, then by doing something about it, thatwe will succeed,” said Evans. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Don’t succumb to the ‘slacker syndrome’

first_img Previous Article Next Article In Japan, they are called ‘freeters’ and simply avoid getting a career jobby living at home with their parents. In the US, they are part of what is knownas the ‘going postal’ phenomenon where disgruntled employees pick up shotgunsand shoot colleagues (often before shooting themselves). In the UK, they arethe group that spends an average of three hours each day flirting, e-mailingand gossiping. They are all part of a wave of dissatisfaction with work. According to Jan Nuttall, HR director at Morley Funds Management: “It’ssomething about the 21st century. Something that is making people seek meaningin their work and in their lives. If the workplace doesn’t deliver, nor willthe people who do the work.” Employers and employees are faced with essentially the same problem. Employers need the best efforts of their workers, those who do the work, tofigure out the most effective ways of completing tasks, achieving the overlyingobjectives of the business, and meeting the needs of customers. They can’tafford workers who simply clock-in and clock-off doing only what they are toldwhile waiting for the end of the working day before engaging their brains. Itrequires self-direction. But an effective self-directed culture is notsomething many companies understand or have ever successfully established. The involvement of the board of directors is critical, but insufficient inisolation as self-direction is all about independent behaviour and cannot beachieved by dictate or by publishing a set of cultural values on the intranet. “The critical part is that each employee believes that his or herindividual contribution can really make a difference and that they will beappreciated for it,” explains Brenda Dainter, HR director at ITNet.”Our culture is not rules-bound, which is why our induction process developspeople’s confidence in their ability, their right to contribute and to be allthey can be rather than focusing on how to fit in or avoid getting intotrouble.” This development of the individual must then be matched by opening the mindsof managers to a new deal that offers fewer controls and delivers undreamed ofeffectiveness. As Tor Farquhar, HR director for Alfred McAlpine points out:”There has to be recognition that managers are there to provide a workenvironment that allows people to feel good about their jobs and to do the bestjob possible. That includes better use of worker ideas and making sure thattools are the best quality available and that the toilets on site are as cleanas those at head office.” That isn’t a complete list, but it’s an indication of the insights that arecoming from the bold HR directors who are embarking on this journey toself-directed culture because they know that effectiveness comes from avoidinga ‘freeter’ future. The first annual Unshrink the People Conference takes place at the BT Towerin London on 29 October. By Max Mckeown, Consultant and author of Unshrink the People Comments are closed. Don’t succumb to the ‘slacker syndrome’On 2 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

HR must drive change in health service

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. HR must drive change in health serviceOn 9 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today ElaineWay, president of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management,explains how the successful modernisation of the health service will depend onHR professionals’ ability to drive change.  By Ben WillmottHRprofessionals in the NHS have a great opportunity to raise their profile andincrease their influence as the Agenda for Change programme to modernise thehealth service is phased in. Thisis the view of Elaine Way, president of the Association of Healthcare HumanResource Management (AHHRM), who was involved in the negotiations that securedthe Agenda for Change agreement.Underthe programme, the basic pay that staff receive will reflect the knowledge,responsibility, skills and effort required in their job, rather than their historicjob title or occupational group.Waybelieves the programme will transform the way NHS staff are paid, appraised anddeveloped, creating significant opportunities for HR professionals to provetheir value.”Ratherthan having an automatic annual increment, for the first time ever there willbe a formal annual appraisal for all members of staff to make sure they areapplying the knowledge and skills that you would expect at that stage of theircareer.”Itis important to stress the word ‘applying’,” she added. “Many peoplehave lots of skills and knowledge, but don’t necessarily apply them to theirjobs. “Weneed to match the organisation’s priorities with individual development and HRhas a very important part to play in that.”TheAgenda for Change programme is currently being tested at 12 NHS sites and isexpected to be introduced nationally from October 2004.DevelopmentopportunitiesWaysaid the programme’s appraisal process would help ensure that all staff have apersonal development plan which will enable them to operate to their fullpotential, and to identify and meet training needs, so they can progressthrough the organisation. She also believes it will help NHS HR staff developtheir own skills, and highlight areas where they need to increase expertise.Wayis confident Agenda for Change will help modernise the service by enablingmanagers to be more creative in creating new job roles that meet the needs of achanging health service. “Everythingdone within the NHS should now be evaluated, weight put on it, and have a fairsalary attached to it,” she said.”Inthe past we have come up with good ideas, but because we had to attach aparticular pay grade to it, staff would not see the pay as attractive for thetype of role we were offering.”Adequateresources are essentialHowever,Way – who is also chief executive of Foyle Health and Social Services Trust inNorthern Ireland – warns the agenda will not deliver change unless it isproperly resourced.”TheDepartment of Health needs to ensure it is putting resources in place to ensurethe most can be made of the Agenda for Change,” said Way. “Ifit doesn’t, what will happen is that HR and line managers will be very good atensuring everybody is transferred to the correct new pay band, but they willnot have the capacity to design jobs differently, or deliver servicesdifferently. It is vital we have this investment in HR and servicedelivery.” Accordingto Way, one of the biggest challenges will be freeing managers from their day-to-day responsibilities, so they can be properly trained in elements of jobevaluation.”Itis important when they are writing job descriptions and personal specificationsthat they are clear about the role, the sort of person they want and how thatfits inside job evaluation,” she said.”Theyalso need to know about the new personal development review and how that isgoing to work. Taking them through skills exercises of doing appraisals andfeeding back to people is a lot of down time from hands-on NHS delivery, and wetherefore need resources put in place to take people out of what they are doingso they can do training.”Wayis optimistic that the three-year pay deal negotiated as part of the Agenda forChange will take some pressure off HR departments and help them support thechange process.HRskillsWaytold Personnel Today that AHHRM is beginning to look at how it can support itsmembers in terms of their professional development. Theorganisation is considering looking at creating its own NHS-specific HRdevelopment programme to help members meet the new challenges they face.”Previously,we have taken the view that the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development(CIPD) is the most skilled organisation in terms of supporting professionaldevelopment. But we are beginning to think about how we can supportprofessional HR development specific to the NHS,” said Way.”Wewill be seeking a meeting with Andrew Foster [the NHS HR director] looking athow to take this forward in conjunction with the Department of Health(DoH),” she said.Wayis enthusiastic about the establishment this summer by the DoH of an HRM (humanresource management) capability unit in England to help improve HR skills.”Thisshows investment in developing HR practitioners and directors,” she said.”The whole focus is about developing capability rather than capacity. Theunit has been investing in programmes, particularly around the issue ofleadership in HR.”Similarinitiatives are happening in the other three countries across the UK,” sheadded. “All the departments of health are recognising this as a priority.”WorkforceplanningOneof the key skills Way identifies as being essential if the HR profession ismake its contribution in helping the health service meets its service targetsis workforce planning.Shebelieves excellent progress has been made in recruiting more nurses and alliedhealth professionals and therapists, but said that there were still significantstaff shortages in certain areas and across certain professions, includingdoctors.”Theskill in good recruitment is about effective workforce planning, so you have aclear longer-term view of the skills you will require, and ensure that you puttogether a strategy to meet those needs,” she explained.However,she added, recruitment would not be such an issue if the NHS was better atretaining the staff it already has.RetainingstaffWaythinks retention is closely linked to the extent that staff are engaged withand involved in running their organisation.”Ifyou allow frontline staff more freedom to design out difficulties and designtheir own work patterns, delivery style and training needs, you would improvemorale and ease retention problems.”Ithink it is important to strive to become a leader of leaders rather than aleader of followers, to try and empower frontline managers and staff,” shesaid.Waybelieves the issue of improving morale in the NHS is so critical that AHHRM isto carry out some research in partnership with the DoH and the CIPD to try andpin down the factors that improve morale across the health service. Herown morale is extremely high as she nears the end of her year as AHHRM’spresident. She looks forward to the organisation’s conference on 1-3 October,and is optimistic that HR is well placed to play a central role in themodernisation of the NHS.ElaineWay’s CV1996to present – Chief executive of Foyle Health and Social Services Trust (FHSST)1993– Unit general manager for FHSST1991– Director of HR for FHSST for the Western Area1977– Specialised in personnel management and progressed through various posts inpersonnel to become director of HR for the Western area at FHSST Joinedthe health service straight from university as a graduate management trainee Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

On the move

first_img Comments are closed. Thanet Council in Kent has appointed Christine Shepherd as its new HRmanager. She joins from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where she managedthe housing directorate’s HR and training team. She now has more than 20 yearsHR experience since she started her career at the London Borough of Lambeth.She has been charged with developing a progressive HR service across thecouncil. Keith Green is the new chief learning officer at the Royal Mail. The role isnewly created and Green joins the organisation from an HR consultancy. He waspreviously the managing director of the Qtab management consultancy, which hasnow ceased trading. Tony Green has joined DHL Aviation Europe as head of HR. In his newposition, he will be based in Brussels, with responsibility for 6,000 staffacross western Europe. He has been promoted from a similar position at DHL inthe UK. He will lead the organisational development of the aviation group toensure global HR policy is implemented throughout his area. He will also beresponsible for the consistent application of the HR framework throughout theaviation group. Previous Article Next Article On the moveOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Tradespeople are the happiest workers

first_imgTradespeople are the happiest workersOn 30 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Plumbers, hairdressers and care assistants are among the happiest workers inthe UK a new index of workplace happiness has revealed. By contrast, some of the more traditionally desirable jobs, such as those inthe media or accountancy, make people miserable. A study by qualifications body City and Guilds found tradespeople were twiceas likely to be ‘extremely happy’ in their jobs compared with white-collarstaff. Undertaking meaningful practical work seems to provide more careersatisfaction. Three-quarters of trade professionals said their job isrewarding, compared with 68 per cent of white-collar workers. Chris Humphries, director general of City and Guilds, said people wereincreasingly deciding to swap the office for a trade, with many looking forbetter career satisfaction. “It’s a misconception that white-collar professionals have the bestjobs and are therefore the happiest,” he said. “As our research proves, it’s often people in vocational careers thatare the most content and fulfilled. “There is an increasing trend for individuals to swap their careers todo something more hands-on. “A lot of employees are starting to realise that job satisfaction ismore important than any other consideration – including money,” he added. The most popular benefits of being employed in a trade that were cited byrespondents include feeling valued (65 per cent), learning new things (62 percent) not being chained to a desk (59 per cent) and camaraderie (51 per cent). The ‘happy’ indexUK’s happiest staffCare assistants 40%Hairdressers     32%Plumbers          32%Chefs   30%Florists             20%UK’s least happy staffArchitects         8%Electricians       6%Accountants     4%Pharmacists      4%Media 4%Estate agents    4%Source: City and Guildslast_img read more

OH&W Awards – ‘If directors buy into the strategy, you are going to have a much better success rate’

first_imgRelated posts: Technology company Arm’s headquarters building in Cambridge Winner of the ‘Best wellbeing initiative’ in last year’s Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards, Office Athletes has forged a close health and wellbeing partnership with Cambridge technology company Arm, a collaboration that led to the innovative use of ‘geocaching’ and augmented reality to get employees up and out from their desks.  The Office Athletes team at Cambridge-based technology company Arm is a prime example of how, even in a competitive OH market increasingly marked by contract ‘churn’, it is still perfectly possible as a contracted provider to build a deep, long-term and extremely rich client/contractor partnership.“Arm started out as Acorn Computers, operating out of a converted barn outside Cambridge nearly 30 years ago. Now, Arm technology reaches 70% of the world’s population. We’ve been with Arm for about 15 years now; we are very bespoke to it,” explains Elliot Fraser, Cambridge gym manager and lead of the Office Athletes wellbeing team at Arm.“When we first took the contract on there were 500 people here and now there are more than 2,500. We have grown with Arm all the way and have tried to give it the most bespoke services that we can as possible really,” he adds.Arm, via Office Athletes, won last year’s Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards ‘Best wellbeing initiative’. There is more detail in the panel below but its Arm-GO ‘geocaching’ initiative was both innovative and clever in how it resonated with the organisation’s predominantly young, tech-savvy (but also sedentary) workforce and got them up and about and more active around Cambridge“We have to do a certain number of wellbeing initiatives every year, and we try to be creative and do stuff we will enjoy as well as that we think will get the greatest footfall. It was our physio who originally had the idea of doing something along the lines of geocaching,” recalls Elliot.“We looked at various apps and applications and recognised that Pokémon Go was really popular. We knew our demographic here; they are all young and on their smartphones and, of course, Arm is a technology company. So making it phone-based was never going to be a problem.“It just kind of snowballed from there. It was really integral to get all the maps and technology working properly on everyone’s phones; it wasn’t easy but we did have the budget to build it, which was great. And we’ve been able to use that to springboard loads of other ideas,” he adds.Lunch-and-learn workshopsAlongside this specific initiative, Office Athletes runs an extensive wellbeing education programme including delivering ‘lunch-and-learn’ workshops at the company’s UK sites including Cambridge, Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield.“On top of that wellbeing education side, there is a full-time physiotherapist on-site, sports massage, health assessments, ergonomic assessments and a fully functional gym,” explains Scott Taylor, Arm UK health and wellbeing manager.“The people team at Arm also works very closely with Office Athletes and if we ever need to link up with the occupational health side of things, there is a company we can use locally for that,” he adds.The fact Arm’s workforce, as with most office-based jobs, is predominantly sedentary means musculoskeletal work and awareness-raising is an ongoing priority on the health and wellbeing side.“There is a lot of musculoskeletal and ergonomic assessment work,” explains Scott. “We are trying to increase physical activity throughout the day beyond just encouraging people taking breaks, although that is an important side of it, too. The on-site physio will also work with people directly if they have got a specific MSK issue. We also finding we’re branching out more and more into stress and mental health as well.”On that note, one benefit the team hadn’t forecast from the Arm-GO initiative was that it didn’t just get people moving physically, it was also beneficial from a social, mental and emotional health perspective.“A lot of people were just tending to sit at their desks most of the day. Some had just moved to Cambridge from various parts of the world and they had no idea what was around,” says Elliott.“So getting them outside, finding them different things to do around Cambridge, having a walk around was really helpful. Many of them ended up doing it in groups as well; it was really nice to see people talking to each other, ‘where did you find this one?’, ‘can you answer this puzzle, I’m stuck on it?’ and so on.“We could tell when each QR code was scanned. We could tell people were scanning them at 8pm and we could see people were doing them on the weekends, getting their kids and families involved. So it really did more than I thought it would,” he adds.How to make change ‘stick’What, then, do Scott and Elliot believe is the secret to making this sort of initiative, or even just health and wellbeing generally, ‘stick’ organisationally?“I think any behaviour change has to come from the hierarchy, modelled from the director level. If the directors buy into the strategy that you are trying to implement, then you are going to have a much better success rate moving forward,” says Scott.“Our senior leaders very much did this; they bought into the project, some of them even did it themselves. You could do it in work time due to Arm’s approach to flexible working,” he adds.“Arm-GO was a very specific event, but it was important that the foundations were already there,” agrees Elliot. “The fact people are already able to work freely and go to the gym at lunchtime or had perhaps participated in other events that we do and all our education – if that hadn’t been there initially, I don’t think it would have led to the fundamental change it did,” agrees Elliot.Being recognised through the Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards has certainly been beneficial in terms of raising the profile of the work Office Athletes does within Arm, both Scott and Elliot agree. But it has also had wider benefits within Arm in terms of highlighting its ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of employees.On top of that, while winning is of course always great, just the process of entering an award can be valuable because it forces you to reflect upon what you’re doing, what you’ve achieved, and how you’re delivering services.As Scott points out: “I remember it just popped up on my email and we’d had such a good time building Arm-GO and we’d showcased it well, we just thought, why not? Why not just submit it and see what happens?“Another benefit to me has been in terms of seeing what other people are doing, of reading some of the other winners and shortlisted entries; we can just take ideas from there and make them our own! But if it also raise awareness, and the profile, of what we’re doing, that’s even better,” he adds.The Arm/Office Athletes team in a nutshellTeam of eight working with Arm, predominantly at the technology company’s Cambridge headquarters.Includes strength & conditioning coaches, sports performance specialists, physiotherapists, health assessors, and nutritionists, but also has access to an occupational health provider if need be.Serving approximately 2,500 employeesHow ARM became an OH&W winnerArm, entered by Office Athletes, won in the ‘Best wellbeing initiative’ category for creating a wellbeing-based geocaching event based around the augmented reality game Pokémon Go.Geocaching events use participants’ mobile device-based GPS to help find containers at specific locations. Arm created its own bespoke event to encourage its largely office-based staff to become more active.The Arm-GO game saw employees download a map that marked eight locations in its base of Cambridge. Using the GPS on their phones, they then had to visit each location and scan a hidden QR code to reveal a further puzzle to solve. Once they had visited all eight sites, they had to submit their answers to each of the puzzles to be entered into a prize draw.The company found most employees chose to play Arm-GO during their lunchbreak and immediately after work, suggesting they were spending more time outside during their working day.Our judges described the entry as “a good example of creating wellbeing activity bespoke to cultures and age profile” and an initiative that had “been delivered within a tight budget but has clearly delivered positive results.” OH&W Awards – ‘We are very focused on ensuring mental health is not swept under the carpet’By taking a holistic approach to wellbeing, one combining healthy eating, physical activity, mental wellbeing, changing habits and leadership, the… One-fifth do not train line managers in health and safetyOne in five organisations do not train their managers in health and safety, despite the view that they are often… OH&W Awards – ‘If directors buy into the strategy, you are going to have a much better success rate’By Nic Paton on 3 Jul 2020 in OH & Wellbeing Awards, Musculoskeletal disorders, Occupational Health, Wellbeing and health promotion, Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Websitelast_img read more