Capita Health Solutions Award for Managing Health at Work

first_imgCapita Health Solutions Award for Managing Health at WorkOn 10 Aug 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Thisaward recognises organisations that have adopted a proactive approach toimproving the health of employees. The judge looked for a clear explanation ofwhat action has been taken, who was involved, how and why as well as evidenceof positive outcomes for the organisationCategory judge: CaryL CooperCaryL Cooper is the professor of organisational psychology and health at theLancaster University Management School, pro-vice chancellor (externalrelations) at Lancaster University, and the former deputy vice chancellor(external relations) of the University of Manchester Institute of Science andTechnology (UMIST). Cooper is the author of more than 100 books on occupationalstress, women at work and industrial and organisational psychology. He isfounding editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior and co-editor of themedical journal Stress and Health.Category sponsor: Capita HealthSolutions is one of the UK’sleading occupational health providers. We seek to be the most valued business partnerin risk-based and cost-effective workplace health risk management and to addvalue to our clients’ business by protecting and enhancing employee health andproductivity.Shortlist of teamsSouth Wales PoliceThe team: Health, care and safety No. In team: 17No. in HR function: 52No. of employees HR is responsible for: 5,290About the organisationSouthWales Police covers an area of about 812 square miles, which is home to almost1.2 million people. The force consists of 3,319 officers, 1,749 members ofsupport staff and 231 police specials. Its financial resources for 2004/5include a revenue budget of £217.7m and a capital budget of £18.4m.What the organisation did–Merged occupational health, sickness absence and safety and welfare functions intothe healthcare and safety team–Introduced early intervention programmes to address long-term sickness absenceproblem–Worked in partnership with an MRI scanning facility–Developed a manual handling risk assessment programme– Introduced a unified programme for the control of substanceshazardous to health. This included an infection control/leaflet,hepatitis B immunisation programme, and Blood, Sweat and Tears video.Benefits and achievements–Renovation programme resulting in better facilities for staff and visitors–Improved diary management through electronic booking of appointments andstreamlining record storage–Early intervention through mediation and focus groups, where people managementissues were perceived to be at the root of sickness absence–Investment of £50,000 for early diagnosis led to a partnership developed toprovide MRI scans within 48 hours of referral–Outsourced counselling to ensure speedy access for staff to counsellors– Worked in partnership with local NHS trusts and the Welsh NationalAssembly to provide health checks and advice.Prof Cary Cooper says:”SouthWales Police have done an excellent job in dealing with a whole range of issuessuch as control of hazardous substances, infection control, and fast trackearly intervention. The force has covered a very broad spectrum of issues intrying to improve health while on a limited budget.”Preston PrimaryCare TrustThe team: HR and Improving Working LivesNo. In team: 18No. in HR function: 16No. of employees HR is responsible for: 1,210About the organisationPrestonPrimary Care Trust (PCT) was established on the 1April 2002 as part of the Government’s reform of the NHS.Serving about 150,000 people across Prestonand Longridge, the trust provides healthcare throughGPs, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists and employs 1,100 staff.ThechallengeMorethan a year ago, the Government announced the NHS Plan to improve the workinglives of all NHS staff. As a part of this, all NHS employers would be assessedagainst the Improving Working Lives Standard. By April 2003, all employerswould be accredited as having put the standard into practice. What the organisation did–Allocated a budget of £25,000 to the project–Got staff on board by setting up informal focus groups to discuss likes anddislikes of working at the trust–Drew up an improving working lives (IWL) action plan–Formed a team – the IWL board – made up of a cross-section of staff–Introduced a flexible working policy as well as lifestyle assessments for allstaff–Introduced a range of healthy living options for staff, including skillsworkshops and reduced-fee gym memberships–Created a zero-tolerance group to look at violence against staff –Introduced healthy working initiatives and communicated them throughnewsletters and staff presentations–Introduced a range of childcare initiativesBenefits and achievements–Achieved the Improving Working Lives standard–Staff turnover reduced from 2.5 per cent to 1.04 per cent–Sickness absence rates at 3.86 per cent, well below rate set by the IWL boardProf Cary Cooper says:”The‘staff health pledge’ is a novel idea that required limited investment. Theydelivered on a range of ideas to improve the management of health at work.”Sheffield CityCouncilThe team: Corporate HumanResourcesNo. in team: 7No. in HR function: 195, 45 in CHRNo. of employees HR is responsible for: 19,800About the organisationSheffieldCity Council is a local authority and serves about 500,000 people. It providesservices through its own directly employed workforce and in partnership withprivate sector and public sector providers. It aims to provide excellentservices to its communities.What the organisation did–The corporate occupational health team, part of the corporate HR team, launchedtwo initiatives – ‘Tackling Stress Together’ and ‘Improving Services, BalancingLives’ – as a part of a strategic approach to stress management–Managers were encouraged to use appraisals and team meetings to identify anddeal with potential stress issues. The employees’ survey provided a goodindication for the key areas of concern–In September 2002, launched ‘Tackling Stress Together’–Successfully bid for external funding to deliver a second initiative to tacklethe causes of work-related stress and work-impacting stress. Launched‘Improving Services, Balancing Lives’ in October 2003.Benefits and achievements–Managers more confident and competent in preventing stress and employees feelmore comfortable raising stress issues with their managers–Initiatives such as ‘Tackling Stress Together’ have helped raise employeesatisfaction–In 2003, the Health and Safety Executive named the council a Beacon of stressprevention–Although the ‘Improving Services, Balancing Lives’ initiative is less than12-months old, 142 managers have already attended workshops, a work-lifebalance intranet site was launched, and the corporate finance team hassuccessfully completed a pilot scheme.Prof Cary Cooper says:”Ithas a very good programme called ‘Tackling Stress Together’, as well as anexcellent flexible working arrangements programme.”Severn Trent WaterThe team: Health and SafetyNo. in team: 13No. in HR function: 42No. of employees HR is responsible for: 5,598About the organisationSevernTrent Water (STW) is a part of Severn Trent plc, an international utilityservices and environmental solutions company. STW is the world’s fourth largestprivately-owned water company, serving more than 8 million customers in the UK.Every day, STW supplies 2 billion litres of drinking water and treats nearly 3billion litres of waste water and sewage. Last year, the company made £209.1mprofit.What the organisation did–Over the past three years, STW has attempted to increase the value of humancapital by reducing sickness absence levels and improving productivity of thoseat work by:– introducing a health and well-being scheme for all staffbased on Vielife programme– using an innovative approach to the management of liftingand handling injuries using best practice methods for task assessment anddesign, training and fast-track physiotherapy referral, and monitoring – using a management and assessment programme for employeesat risk from hand-arm vibration syndrome– developing a computer-based training package for displayscreen equipment, which uses storylines and graphics – launching a range of other initiatives, including a cancerawareness campaign and work-life balance policy.Benefits and achievements–Sickness absence rate has dropped from 4.3 per cent in 1999-2000 to 3.3 percent, saving the company £1.4m –Increase in productivity is equivalent to 28,750 days of work across thecompany, which is equivalent to £4.3m–Assuming linear reduction in turnover, good participation in the healthprogramme and a baseline turnover rate of 4.5 per cent, annualised turnoverwould be expected to drop to 4.1 per cent in a year’s time– Sickness absence savings of £660,000 per year.  Prof Cary Cooper says:”A comprehensive programme of managing health andwell-being at work.”Highly commended: Barclays AfricaProfCary Cooper also wanted to give special recognition to Barclays Africa for itswork on HIV/AIDS with its employees. 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