Leicestershire Police: Workplace Challenge - "A platform for promoting and supporting staff physical and mental wellbeing"
"The chief constable Simon Cole was keen to embed the Workplace Challenge in the organisation as a platform for promoting and supporting staff physical and mental wellbeing and as part of a wider Wellbeing agenda.
"Leicestershire Police finished 2nd overall in last year's challenge with over 350 active participants.
"To support the challenge we have published a number of short walking routes from different Force locations to encourage less car use e.g. lunchtime shopping trips. Over 90 individuals have taken part in a Desk to 5k running initiative and next year this will be extended to 10k. To further encourage participation Business Games events will be organised next year whereby teams of employees will compete with each other in various activities. An outside Trim Trail is planned for next year to compliment these initiatives and provide another exercise option for staff.
"During the year fitness initiatives are linked with charity fund-raising e.g. Stepathon for Treble One Trust, Cycle to Work Scheme is linked to the COPs annual charity raising ride, Desk to 5k is linked to the Race for Life in July this year. In doing so it is recognised that 'giving' can also be a beneficial factor in building resilience to poor mental health.
"The Workplace Challenge is promoted to all new police staff and police officers at the Force induction and to all staff during benefits road shows held during the year.
"The Force has recently been recognised by the HMIC for the proactive work being carried out as part of the Wellbeing Agenda and has also recently started the process of applying for the Public Health England Workplace Wellbeing Charter accreditation as a statement of the organisation's ongoing support of the health and wellbeing of its employees.
"The Force has signed the Time to Change Pledge to tackle mental health discrimination and also works with Mind Blue Light to promote awareness of mental health issues and support managers and individuals with issues around mental health. There is a Mental Health site on the HR Website that signposts information, training courses and support.
"Encouraging workplace activity helps Leicestershire Police to support individuals wellbeing as one of the practical steps advocated in guidance on looking after mental health is to make physical activity part of the daily routine."
Colette Cloete, Workplace Champion, Leicestershire Police
Thermo Fisher Scientific: "There are now no barriers to sport and physical activity at lunchtime."
Tell us a little bit about your workplace.
"We are the leading provider of analytical instruments, equipment, reagents and consumables, software and services for research, analysis, discovery and diagnostics.
"At Thermo Fisher Scientific, our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.
In Loughborough we have approximately 430 employees across two sites, Bishop Meadow Road and Bakewell Rd."
How did you find out about the WPC and what made your workplace decide to sign up?
"Via an email communication, I was intrigued and if I'm honest I didn't really see the point of it. So, I signed up and asked some of my (work's) running group to do the same. We logged activity and could see what sports each other were doing in & out of work and it did encourage me to do more and made it fun.
"Therefore the following year with approval from our site lead here at Loughborough I rolled it out across the two Thermo Fisher Scientific sites in Loughborough."
What sort of things have you done to help encourage your staff to take part (e.g. walking meetings, lunchtime running club)?
"Communicate to staff, via email, posters & on company TV screens around site. And most importantly speaking to people face to face and encouraging them, sometimes people want to have a go but need a gentle nudge and require some encouragement to do so.
"We scheduled in additional lunchtime walks and trialled Core Stability classes, alongside an internal Workplace Challenge and weight loss competition. This was assisted by Charnwood Borough Council."
How well do you think your staff have engaged with the challenge?
"Amazingly well but it's taken a little time. The first year we had approximately 30 staff registered on the WPC and now we are at over 100 employees who have registered.
"The second year, we ran an internal WPC and weight loss challenge alongside the National challenge which then engaged lots more staff. It was great fun, friendly competition between colleagues, while everyone was getting fitter and losing weight at the same time.
"From running this there was increased interest in the Workplace Challenge competitions such as Football, Golf, Zorb football and Beach Volleyball - we now actually have our own Beach Volleyball team (as well as cricket, running, badminton, squash)."
How do you think signing up to the Workplace Challenge has benefited your staff and workplace as a whole?
"We have created a culture change, there is now no barrier to doing sports/activity at lunchtime.
"Our Health & Safety Manager Alan Carpmail, signed up to the Workplace Challenge in January which encouraged him to start walking regularly and log his activity. Alan has lost 4 stone in weight since he started doing this.
"I believe it's also helped improve morale, productivity and will have improved presenteeism (although no hard stats as yet) which is all beneficial to the business. In general staff on site seem more engaged in their health and wellbeing. This has then led onto other initiatives such as skin checks, flu jabs etc.
"My next task is to engage the rest of the Thermo Fisher Sites in the UK!"
Joanne Spencer, Workplace Champion, Thermo Fisher Scientific