Retailers recognised in Britain’s Healthiest Company Awards

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Adidas (UK), the sportswear designer, manufacturer and retail group and Sweaty Betty, the women’s fitness clothing company have scooped up awards in this year’s Britain’s Healthiest Company Awards. Adidas walked away with first place in the overall 2014 awards in the medium-sized organisation category as well as winning the Healthiest Workplace award and being highly commended for having the Healthiest Employees (medium-sized organisation categories). Sweaty Betty was awarded first place for Healthiest Employees (medium-sized organisation category).

Britain’s Healthiest Company was launched by PruHealth with Vitality, the health insurer and healthy living programme provider, and Mercer, the global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. It is claimed to the biggest survey of workplace wellness in the UK having looked at the health of over 25,000 employees and the health and wellness facilities and measures provided by 82 companies.

Britain’s Healthiest Company surveyed employers and employees at organisations around the country with over 50 employees. It is designed to give companies a better understanding of the health and lifestyle of their employees and what proactive steps can be taken to improve employee health.

Winning companies:

Britain’s Healthiest Company – Large (1000+ eligible employees)
1st Nomura
2nd Quintiles
3rd BNP Paribas
Britain’s Healthiest Company – Medium (250-999 eligible employees)
1st adidas (UK) Ltd
2nd Discovery Networks
3rd iris Worldwide
Britain’s Healthiest Company – Small (50-249 eligible employees)
1st Gilead Sciences Ltd
2nd Forrester Research Limited
3rd Grey Matter Ltd.

Britain’s Healthiest Company evaluated the health of both the workplace and workforce. It looked at a number of lifestyle, behavioural, environmental and clinical risk factors across the employee population, together with a broad view of corporate policies, practices and facilities that could directly impact on employee health. The overall award for Britain’s Healthiest Company was based on the highest combined scores from the Healthiest Workplace and Healthiest Employee awards, to holistically determine Britain’s Healthiest Company. The research was undertaken by the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, which collaborate on health research through the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research.

Neville Koopowitz, CEO at PruHealth with Vitality, said: “This is the biggest and most comprehensive research programme in the UK looking at employee health. Britain’s Healthiest Company celebrates the country’s most outstanding organisations demonstrating best practice and innovative approaches to looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff.

“There are a number of strategic business drivers which are increasingly becoming boardroom issues. The business case demonstrating the tangible benefits from ensuring employee health is becoming increasingly clear,  from the financial cost and impact on the bottom line, the organisational profile and being an employer of choice to minimising litigation by ensuring due diligence. Today’s winning organisations are fantastic examples of those that have had the foresight to create a culture that aligns wellness with a business’ overall goals and missions and we congratulate them on these well-deserved awards.”

Health and wellness are so deeply ingrained in the culture of adidas (UK) that the company has spawned an independent wellness consultancy – Wellness International to serve the health and wellness interests of its employees. Facilities include two gyms and access to a number of professionals including doctors, nutritionists, physiologists and psychologists. At least 90% of employees ‘know their numbers’ for blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index and their resulting cardiac risk score.  he company has reduced the average number of sick days to 2.5 per employee per year, compared to an industry average of almost six. The success of its health and wellness programme is due to the support it receives from the top of the organisation and the commitment of its leaders to making wellness an integral part of the company.

To keep its team in tune with the company’s mission statement, ‘to empower women through fitness’ Sweaty Betty has developed a comprehensive programme of measures to make athletes out of its workforce. It provides free-to-use gym facilities and five complementary exercise classes a week, as well as a studio for regular spur-of-the-moment workouts. Staff are offered flexible working patterns so they can go to the gym in the middle of the day if it suits them. Before it opens a new store it builds relationships with local gyms, trainers and other fitness outlets and staff will often get free or discounted classes locally. It also offers a Ride to Work scheme, as well as a subsidy for people wanting to train as a fitness instructor and free sportswear for all staff. Exercise is engrained in the business and it promotes an active lifestyle across the board, including how it recruits, trains, motivates and rewards its people.

Chris Bailey, Partner at Mercer Marsh Benefits, said: “In recent times employee engagement and the demonstrable value that it brings an organisation has become accepted wisdom within the business community. However, taking an active interest in the health of employees has taken longer to embrace. There seems to be an artificial barrier within corporate Britain where the health of the workforce is deemed the individuals’ responsibility, or perhaps simply people believe it’s an area in which it is too difficult to make an impact.

“Fortunately, we’re finding that more and more clients are challenging this view and are looking to review their current rewards, benefits and working practices to positively impact upon the health or their people. It just makes good business sense.”

The trophies were presented by Sebastian Coe, chair of the British Olympic Association, double Olympic gold medallist and PruHealth Vitality Ambassador and Dame Carol Black, Chair of the Public Health Responsibility Deal’s Health at Work Network.  In Dame Carol’s previous role as National Director for Health and Work, she led an independent review of the health of Britain’s working age population, Working for a healthier tomorrow (2008), which was accepted by Government with broad cross-party support.

Each participating organisation also received a Corporate Health Report detailing the main health risks facing their organisation, tailor made recommendations on how to improve and how they are benchmarked against other companies. Participating employees received a Personal Health Report providing a unique insight into their health and recommendations on lifestyle changes they can make.