Prioritising the physical and mental wellbeing of our employees has led to Housing Plus Group being shortlisted for an award judged by a leading Shropshire business group. We are very pleased to have been named one of the finalists in the Wellbeing in the Workplace category of the Shropshire Chamber Business Awards.
The award recognises Shropshire employers who place the health and wellbeing of staff at the heart of their culture and who are committed to a healthy work-life balance.
In 2020, employees told us that wellbeing was the most important factor influencing their job satisfaction.
We responded by exploring industry best practice and consulted our HPG Voice forum whose members are elected to represent all colleagues, to help us understand what would work best in our workplace.
Our focus on wellbeing began with mental awareness training and our teams took part in guided discussions around mental health and wellbeing. With resources including fact-packs and a quiz, sessions were designed to challenge preconceptions and encourage staff to seek support.
Building on that foundation, Mental Health First Aiders were introduced to provide a confidential point of contact and signpost to sources of help.
Last year, a month-long campaign followed Mind’s Five Ways to Wellbeing: be active, give, connect, keep learning and take notice. Colleagues were encouraged to form better sleep habits, take ‘brain breaks’, share craft and photography skills, discover how to activate happiness and carry out an act of kindness.
The campaign also included a ‘ten million steps’ challenge. Steps recorded on daily walks in our neighbourhoods were converted into virtual sightseeing tours around the county.
72% of staff surveyed said they made positive changes following this campaign.
Many of our roles now offer the opportunity for hybrid working, with secure, networked laptops and audio equipment creating go-anywhere workplaces.
In Shrewsbury, our office refurbishment has taken wellbeing into account in its layout, decoration and lighting. This resulted in a bright and welcoming environment for visiting customers and means that colleagues can work in the way that suits them – choosing a traditional desk, standing workstations, private pods or meeting spaces.
Our wellbeing approach has helped to cut sickness absence and reduce staff turnover, bringing valuable savings that allow us to do more for our customers.
“Being a great place to work helps us to attract and retain talented and dedicated people; delivering the best possible experience for our customers and making a positive difference in the communities we serve,” said Tony Bishop, our director of people and marketing. “We have done a huge amount to support employees during lockdown and to respond to a very different environment of a changed economy. Recognition of our progress by the Shropshire Chamber is an important achievement and we are very proud to have been shortlisted for this award.”
Winners of the awards will be announced on Friday 23 June.