We promote health and happiness in our colleagues’ personal and professional lives through a variety of activities and initiatives which encompass all aspects of the Wheel of Wellbeing.
Body: We have launched a Wellbeing Working Group with a view to developing and communicating innovative new ideas and practices, including colleague-led initiatives such as regular access to a massage therapist, NHS Health Checks, a weight-loss support group, healthy breakfast events, a running club and badminton club.
We provide access to the Foresight Health Plan from Westfield Health for all employees. This scheme covers 11 different healthcare benefits and services, giving colleagues 100% of their money back (up to set limits) towards essential health costs such as optical and dental treatments. This plan also includes access to a range of health and wellbeing services, including a 24hr Counselling and Advice Line, and an online Personal Health Risk Assessment and Personal Accident cover, as well as discounted gym memberships.
Mind: Colleagues are actively encouraged to seek further personal development, with a number currently undertaking relevant housing and management qualifications funded by the Group. We regularly offer secondments within the organisation and have a robust succession plan in place which seeks to broaden colleagues’ experience through lateral moves, providing a variety of learning and development opportunities.
We take a holistic approach to learning and development, with colleagues given the opportunity to undertake additional training which will be of benefit to them in both a professional and personal capacity – examples of this include mental health awareness, the development of colleague mental health first aiders, understanding menopause in the workplace, dealing with dementia, fuel-efficient driving skills and advanced driver training.
Spirit: Following the success of the colleague-led initiatives implemented over the past two years, we have reaffirmed our commitment to ‘Giving Something Back’ to our tenants and local communities and will be running our hugely successful ‘Give a kid a coat’ campaign again. This simple concept, where pre-loved coats and jackets are donated and then distributed free of charge to families for whom such items may be an unaffordable luxury, has seen us help to keep over 1,500 less fortunate children a little bit warmer over winter.
On top of this, we have been fundraising for our colleague nominated Charity of the Year, The Cookie Jar Foundation, organising events including a ‘Great Cookie Bake Off’, virtual ‘Cookie Car Race’, ‘100 Club’ draw, themed cooking competitions, Christmas quiz and race night, which we hope will help us raise enough money to fund one of the vein finders the charity donate to local hospitals.
Going forward, we also hope to introduce a ‘grant’ scheme, whereby local groups can apply for funding and support so that we can help them to make a difference in their communities.
People: In 2017 we started using Workplace by Facebook to allow colleagues to connect with each other. It is used for many different purposes including arranging charity and corporate events, team building, colleague engagement, organisational polls, inter-departmental collaboration and general communication, which has been of particular benefit to our Operations Team who work remotely and had previously felt detached from office-based colleagues, missing out on day-to-day updates and developments.
The organisation also arranges an annual Colleague Conference, attended by all employees and delivered by an inter-departmental working group. Feedback on this colleague-driven event is always fantastic, with everyone enjoying the opportunity to spend time together taking part in all sorts of unusual activities.
Place: We have established a cross-department Environmental Impact Group whose remit is to seek environmental improvements and better management of our open spaces and communal areas.
Several new projects developed by colleagues also have a positive environmental impact with a ‘Recycle or Skip’n’Scrap’ scheme rolling out across our estates, a number of donations made to support local bike clubs and an unused piece of land owned by Fife Housing Group currently being turned into allotments. Additionally, we have donated a piece of land to a local Residents’ Association, supporting them to transform this into a community garden.
Planet: We reduce energy usage through the solar panels installed at our office and have improved recycling with the removal of individual waste-paper bins in favour of larger recycling-segregated bins. We have implemented a clear desk policy which discourages printing and advocates an electronic filing only approach. On top of this, we encourage colleagues to car share wherever possible by reimbursing additional ‘passenger miles’ and support working from home when appropriate. This year also saw the introduction of our first cycle to work scheme.