Four BIG UK businesses that do actually care about their employees’ wellbeing (and can prove it)
Job applicants usually look at several factors when seeking a new challenge; the salary is probably top of the list, followed by career fulfilment and a chance to progress, supported training, creativity and communication. Other benefits such as a pension scheme may also be on the shopping list – but what about wellbeing? Where do we place the company’s responsibility to consider our health and happiness while working?
As the Guardian points out here, employers are looking for more ways of making their workers happy through social activities and events that venture beyond the traditional pint and Christmas party. Here are four big companies that are really pushing the boat out – without having to construct that boat yourself at a team-building exercise.
1) Nationwide Building Society
More than 17,000 staff work at the home at this financial services giant based in Swindon, with an ethos that has nailed the work-life balance divide. The company recently featured prominently in the Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Companies to Work For’ list for its strong social conscience.
Sabbaticals and career breaks are offered for staff from a company that donated more than £4m to charity last year, while a ‘power challenge’ to urge employees to be more green saw electricity usage fall by 12%. These factors, alongside pay and benefits, led to 65% of workers saying they are happy with balance between their responsibilities and home lives. One last impressive statistic; more than a third of its employees have been at the company for over a decade.
2) British American Tobacco
As one might expect of a giant company employing 57,000 people, it’s representative of many cultures: 137 nationalities work within its management structure, with a proportion of women in management roles exceeding 30%. That statistic is a product of its Women in Leadership programme, which in itself is a key component of its coaching culture.
Not everyone can be a manager or executive, and BAT recognises this by paying attention to those on the ‘factory floor’; its Significant Endemic Disease programme includes vaccinations, peer education, water purification, and nutritional education for its many employees who work in challenging environments.
In its latest ‘Your Voice’ employee opinion survey the company scored 72% for employment engagement, ahead of an average of 69%. In addition, 72% of its companies achieved zero accidents in 2014.
3) BGL Group
This Peterborough-based insurance company is renowned for its extensive wellbeing programme, built upon a culture of learning and progression. Subsidised restaurants and coffee shops? Check. Annual family fun day? Check. Awards Ball? Two-for-one cinema tickets? An onsite gym? Check to all.
Its Wellbeing programme includes initiatives such as subsidised osteopathy and sports massage services and an employee assistance programme that includes the provision of free confidential advice and counselling. The belief in the strong link between wellbeing and sustainable business is so embedded that the company even has its own wellbeing manager. For more information on jobs at this thriving company, click here.
4) Capital One
A credit card company? Surely some mistake? If you’re on the receiving end of a bill you might baulk at the choice, but in 2013 the Nottingham-based company was named first in The Greatest Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Awards in 2013.
The victory, in the ‘large’ category, was put down to its support for employees; staff feel valued and are coached to progress, while charity and community support is actively encouraged.
But there are other perks which set this company apart: a free on-site gym, music rooms, work spaces styled on igloos and snow huts, a yearly day out, and uniquely, a music festival known as VisionFest where talented employees can perform.
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