Employee Benefits Awards 2011: Most effective healthcare and wellbeing strategy for organisations with fewer than 1,000 staff

EBAwardsWINNER

CA Technologies, Balance Your Life

This technology firm launched its wellness programme, Balance Your Life, in May 2009 for its 790 UK employees, because it saw a need to introduce a programme to combat steadily increasing healthcare costs resulting from higher-than-average claims for its sector. It also wanted to address the stressful economic climate and better communicate the wellness benefits it already offered.

CA devised a wellness mission statement that aimed to encourage and promote a positive and proactive approach to affect the health, lifestyles and environment of employees in order to improve performance and reduce healthcare costs. It put together strategic objectives, all of which have been achieved since the programme began.

It launched the programme in conjunction with an employee online health risk assessment, and tailored it around the areas of risk identified from the survey – nutrition, fitness, stress and sleep. This enabled the company to offer a programme appropriate to its workforce with tailored initiatives. It uses a range of branded communication methods to regularly updates employees, including regular emails on upcoming initiatives and ongoing results, a Balance Your Life intranet site, and on-site awareness sessions.

CA Technologies’ wellness team comprises representatives from the HR, facilities, communications and finance functions, and members manage the programme and initiatives in addition to their day jobs.

Since launching Balance Your Life, CA has noticed an improvement in the claims experience of its private medical insurance and has made a direct saving of 5%, which equates to £37,500, on its UK annual medical premium.

The company’s efforts to tailor the programme to the needs of its employees caught the attention of the judges, who praised its work on joint communications with staff. The judges noted this entrant as a strong contender across both health and wellbeing categories.

RUNNERS UP

Browne Jacobson, Health, Wellbeing and Benefits Fairs
After developing a holistic wellbeing strategy that consolidated wellbeing areas such as absence management, health and safety, and reward and benefits, this legal firm ran fairs to improve engagement and raise awareness. It gave out pedometers and Frisbees and ran competitions to win fruit baskets. As a result of the fairs and its healthcare and wellbeing benefits, the firm won the Investors in People health and wellbeing award.

PX Group
This wellbeing strategy, which offers the same benefits to all staff whether junior employees or directors, includes subsidised gym fees, an employee support programme and flexible working to enable parents/careers to work around their commitments and therefore reduce stress levels. This energy management firm encourages staff to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and has seen take-up of its cycle scheme increase by 5% in the past year.

Towry, A Wealth of Health and Wellbeing entered by Axa Icas
This strategy is part of the entrant’s total reward strategy, and a key component is its employee assistance programme. Staff have access to an onsite gym, a health and wellbeing forum, and stress and resilience sessions, among other perks. This financial services firm has seen absenteeism fall to an average of 3.2 days per employee per year, and over 70% of staff register with the on-site gym.

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Read more about the Award winners