Employee Benefits Awards 2010: Most effective healthcare and wellbeing strategy for organisations with fewer than 1,000 staff (Sponsored by Westfield Health)



TD Waterhouse International Health and wellbeing programme

This financial services firm has a clear health and wellbeing policy of offering a suite of initiatives and activities that are driven, in part, by the articulated needs of its workforce via an annual survey.

There is a strong desire to offer a range of classes and activities in response to staff requests, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to meet the needs of staff from a wide range of roles, from call centre to IT to back office.

Many of the activities are standard and found within similar strategies at other organisations, but TD Waterhouse’s use of an annual survey of employees to help shape the following year’s calendar of activities is a strong innovation. The firm has a health, safety and wellbeing committee, made up of employees, which is responsible for this survey and for launching initiatives and co-ordinating activities each year.

Starting in November 2009, the committee launched more practical activities to meet staff demand, including practical tips on how to stay healthy. It also expanded wellbeing sessions to include meditation and visualisation workshops, and aromatherapy hand and wrist massages.

Many workshops were oversubscribed, demonstrating how the strategy is meeting needs. Although the overall strategy focuses on wellbeing rather than absence, absence rates are 2.62% and staff turnover is 5.88%, notable because part of the business is a call centre, which would normally have high turnover rates. In the bi-annual survey, the score for the question ‘TD is genuinely interested in the wellbeing of its employees’ rose from 3.92 in April 2009 to 3.98 in October 2009.

Runners up
The Authentic Food Company Authentic wellbeing
This entrant built on its 2009 entry, employing an occupational health nurse, adding new health benefits and running a health fair. The results show a real impact on productivity through reduced absence. It reduced dependence on agency staff by 75% which, in turn, brought down the cost per case of goods manufactured.

Cardif Pinnacle and Financial Telemarketing Services Health and wellbeing programme (entered by Axa Icas)
The innovation in this entry stems from taking a standard employee assistance programme (EAP) and working in partnership with the provider to develop a complete suite of additional activities related to the benefit. The 20% take-up for the EAP shows the value of focusing on one benefit properly and doing it well.

DAS Group Wellwise
There was a noteworthy switch from a reactive to a proactive attitude to staff health, after experiencing absence rates of up to 10 days a year, with stress a major driver. The firm has an umbrella strategy that combines a variety of elements that are managed in-house.

ING Direct (entered by Aon Consulting)
Although a wide-ranging wellbeing programme is on offer, the main focus of this entry was on the restructure of private medical insurance to ensure it appeals to three key groups of staff. The new three-tier perk resulted in take-up leaping from 44% to 95%.

PX Fit for work
This energy management firm offers a wide range of well-thought-through programmes that have been in place for some time to aid a proactive stance to staff wellbeing. The programmes’ effectiveness is demonstrated by the good increases in take-up rates and excellent absence rates of a mere 1.41%, down from 2.29% in 2008.

See full list of winners and finalists for the Employee Benefits Awards 2010