Thames Water employs 6,400 employees across London and the Thames Valley. As well as staff based in its head office in Reading, it also has employees across many sites throughout the region as well as field-based engineers and technicians.
Aimee Cain, occupational health and wellbeing manager at Thames Water, has seen employee expectations change considerably in the last few years.
“Employees expect their employer to look after their health and wellbeing as well as their safety,” she explains. “We’ve done a lot of work on mental health over the last few years, and now have one mental health first aider for every 10 employees. We also have a flexible-working policy and encourage employees to use it wherever possible. However, when we looked at the results of our employees’ annual health assessment, we could see that more work was required to improve physical health.”
To do this, the organisation implemented a number of changes to help employees be more active. These included encouraging them to use their breaks to enjoy a walk and offering them membership of Gympass. “With so many sites it wasn’t practical, or possible, to put a gym into every one,” she explains. “Gympass gives employees, and their families, access to gyms around the country as well as a range of online fitness resources.”
Alongside this, Cain has noted employees wanting to know more about the bigger picture. “There’s a lot more interest from employees in the work we do environmentally and in the community,” she explains.
“We do a lot in these areas, from generating renewable power and taking water-efficiency workshops into schools to recycling sewage to produce carbon negative bricks to help build new homes. Employees want to know they work for an organisation that takes its corporate and social responsibilities seriously so we’re making sure we share this information with them.”