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Putting Health and Wellbeing at the Heart of Your Benefits Strategy

March 7, 2019
HR Wisdom

So often employee health benefits are relegated to the bottom of the priorities pile and often become a ‘tick-box’ exercise. There’s no clear value or ROI attached, and they are often forgotten about by both employees and employers.

HR Departments are stretched, rarely acquiring the necessary budget to best support their employees’ health and wellbeing. I spoke to Ruby Thompson, the Talent Manager for RMP Enterprise Ltd. to gain an insight into how she and her team promote a supportive company culture that focuses on employee wellbeing. It soon became apparent that everyone could learn a thing or two from Ruby and the team at RMP Enterprise.

One idea I fell immediately in love with is RMP’s ‘Culture Champions’. A relevantly new concept that seems to be finding great success. Ruby explained a ‘Culture Champion’ is a volunteer (one per team) who “help out a lot by of organising social and charity events”. A Culture Champion is an excellent way to not only get the team involved but also give them the opportunity to have input on the wellbeing events and activities.

But Ruby does not rule out traditional forms of employee incentives that work. At RMP Enterprise they award the ‘Employee of the Month’ along with other employees that uphold the company values. A neat way of unifying the employees with the company’s beliefs, and rewarding them for acting on these beliefs. When it came to the budget, Ruby explained that it was currently managed on an ad-hoc basis. The benefit for a specific wellness benefit would be requested and then agreed. This wellness budget would need to cover a variety of initiatives including healthy office food and in house talks and exercise.

One area that is associated strongly with employee benefits are the perks. Ruby believed that they offered ‘loads of benefits’ and she was right. An extensive list of perks then followed, with initiatives such as flexible and remote working and healthy breakfast options offered. One perk that caught my attention was the idea of an ‘active lunch’. Employees of RMP are offered an hour and a half lunch break to ‘do something active’. A terrific approach to encourage employees to be active without micromanaging the ways in which they are being active. Ruby also noted that “if there was one thing we could improve upon it would be the physical activities we offer”. Ruby is certainly not alone when it comes to physical fitness benefits. Companies routinely struggle to provide employees with a decent variety and quality of physical activities.

Back in December of 2018, the team carried out a ‘Wellness Survey’. The perfect opportunity for the employees to be vocal about how they believe the company can best support their health and wellbeing. Ruby admitted that her expectations of the results were different from how they actually turned out. Expecting employees to want in-house yoga or a mental health counsellor, Ruby was surprised to find that many of the employees had focused their answers on communication between the teams. It was noted that each team experiences peaks of business and stress at different times, thus employees looked for more understanding and empathy for each other. Off the back of these results, Ruby’s team is looking into creating a heat map across the business to understand when people are most busy. A critical first step to reducing the stress points that were plaguing the office.

It was a pleasure speaking with Ruby and I thoroughly appreciated her taking the time to give me an insight into the work she and her team do at RMP Enterprise. I came away inspired by Ruby’s wondrous initiatives and passionate dedication for the often forgotten about world of employee health and wellbeing.

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As you'd expect, from a GoSweat Founder, Steph loves all things sweaty. From SUP to Skiing, she's always searching for the next endorphin fix. Her other loves include animals, adventures and eating out.

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