In a recent interview, Duncan Selbie spoke to the Guardian about the significant impact of prioritising employee health and wellbeing. The report with the NHS Public Health Chief demonstrated compelling statistics and findings, so much so that Nottingham-based Solicitors Fraser Brown chose to share their experiences from investing in this “bottom up” approach.
The new “Bod Squad” initiative is a great example of how the firm invests in employee health and wellbeing. What started as a simple idea has now captured the imagination of nearly a third of the Fraser Brown team. Armed with nutritional information, recipes and fitness ideas, employees step on the scales weekly in a bid to drop dress sizes and win cash prizes.
The 29 members commit to private weigh-ins every Monday, under the supervision of Arwen who puts the results into a password protected document to monitor their progress. The top 3 winners are then calculated at the end of each four week cycle, based on the percentage of their body weight lost, as the team journey towards their ideal weight. The scheme started in July with the full support of Fraser Brown, awarding the high achievers with £25, £15 and £10 shopping vouchers.
The National Institute for Health Care Excellence report has highlighted that physically active people take 27% fewer days off ill from work. This research is significant, with the UK annual bill for sickness absence tipping £29bn. In The Observer interview, Selbie outlined that “Being regularly active is one of the best ways to prevent and manage poor musculoskeletal health and combat stress, which are both major causes of sickness absence.”
However, Fraser Brown Solicitors suggest that taking care of employee’s health has advantages that far surpass simple economics. Arwen Makin is a Senior Associate in the Licensing team, and has a number of personal training certificates and fitness instructor qualifications. As the Bod Squad founder and organiser, Arwen is seeing the initiative grow from strength to strength:
“We are very happy with the interest Bod Squad has received, and it’s great to get backing from Fraser Brown to offer incentives to spur us on. Getting up and about, taking care of our health and sharing good food and fitness ideas has seen a great impact on our working environment. It brings people together to inspire each other in a way that is unique to the workplace.
It’s a free scheme to get involved in, and with such a great turn out so far it’s something we are sure to continue. I would encourage any business to take a proactive approach to ensuring the good health of their employees, and this scheme is certainly doing that.”
On their lunch break, the Bod Squad can be seen taking brisk walks around the Nottingham Caste grounds and continue to find new ways of keeping active. The scheme has said to be a great success after the first month comes to a close, with some members already seeing amazing results.
The group have a regular email chat, serving to motivate one another and arrange activities to do in the week. The Bod Squad recognise that weight loss measurements aren’t the only way of indicating good fitness and health, but the incentive offers simple objectives to work towards.
The focus is on coming together to help attain personal health and fitness goals, and acts as one of a series of measures Fraser Brown have in place to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Interestingly, HR magazine found that 33% of employers found their cycling staff more productive than none-cyclers, and almost 90% of bosses found that they had more energy during the day. This is something that the team are also interested in, and offer a cycle-to-work scheme, offering to buy bikes for staff that cycle at least three times a week.
“The energy of our staff is often indicative also of their mental wellbeing, and if our staff are out in the open and being active we generally see this as a good thing,” says HR officer Sarah Poole. “As a firm we look for measures that can boost staff morale and wellbeing, and more frequently we are seeing that this starts with being more attentive to their health.”
Fraser Brown solicitors are also especially attentive to ergonomics, working to ensure that employees are as comfortable as possible with aid from specially trained individuals. Changes of furniture, seat amendments and attention to posture are all things Fraser Brown employees are assisted with.
This is something also mentioned in the article, stating that “Ergonomic assessments of posture could help identify stiffness and pain that may indicate that back problems are emerging which can then be tackled early.”
Fraser Brown are continuing to find new ways to encourage good health and wellbeing, and the introduction of the Bod Squad is testament to the proactive and self motivated approach our team possess.