Employee Benefits Awards 2012: Most effective healthcare and wellbeing strategy for employers with fewer than 1,000 staff

Capital One, Your Health Matters

Capital One revamped its health and wellbeing provision for staff with a raft of measures designed to improve fitness, wellbeing and work-life balance.

In January 2011, it opened an on-site gym called The Core at its head office in Nottingham. The judges were particularly impressed that employees were involved in the design of the gym, which was given a street-fair style launch involving games, sporting activities and massages, as well as body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure tests.

Last year also saw the launch of Capital One’s work-life balance campaign, including the pilot of a new therapy called Human Givens, which combines a number of proven techniques to help staff with mental health problems.
After reviewing its family-friendly policies, the firm increased paternity leave to two weeks’ full pay to be taken by fathers any time in the first year of a child’s life. Workshops were held to prepare women for maternity leave and support their transition back to work. During National Family Week, parents could bring their children into work for two days, and the children could take part in activities such as exercise workouts in the gym.

Capital One also set up health stations, which were tailored according to the time of year and any national health campaigns, in the staff restaurant. The stations, designed to raise awareness of the firm’s health and wellbeing offerings, typically offered staff BMI tests, samples of healthy meals and smoothies, and a chance to talk to trainers about fitness classes at the gym.

The judges said Capital One’s strategy was innovative and well thought out. One said: “There is an obvious pride and passion in what it does.”

Jill Cunnison, head of reward and recruitment HR, said: “We have really tried to think about health and wellbeing holistically.”


Hood Group, Wellbeing
This entrant operates two wellbeing weeks a year to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage a sense of fun in the workplace. A range of free activities for staff during these weeks has included: healthy breakfasts every morning, healthy lunch tasters, sports massages, exercises and the chance to join the organisation’s bikes-for-work scheme. The group also provides health assessments to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and height, risk of diabetes and heart disease. One of the most popular activities is the Krypton-Hood factor challenge, which tests memory, skill, knowledge and dexterity in various fun ways.

Next Jump, Human Capital Engineering: a health and energy advantage
This entrant’s health and wellbeing programme is designed to energise employees and boost performance in the workplace. Under the programme, employees are provided with free healthy food and drink and incentivised to take part in fitness challenges. Dieticians are also on hand to provide weekly health updates and personalised nutrition advice. A fitness portal allows staff to track fitness training and energy levels, and those that make healthy decisions are rewarded with points that can be spent through the organisation’s voluntary benefits shopping portal. Next Jump also pays contributions to a health savings account for employees in the US and provides private medical cover for UK staff.

Read more about the Employee Benefits Awards 2012