Case study: Coventry Building Society
Coventry Building Society employs 1,300 people across the Greater Midlands region including at three head offices in Coventry. A couple of years ago it overhauled its employee benefits programme to help look after the health of its workforce.
Tina Jones, HR project manager at Coventry Building Society, says: “Stress is a real issue in any workplace and we wanted to make sure our employees were as protected from this as much as possible.”
At the heart of its strategy is its wellbeing policy, which covers all areas of wellbeing and has a particular focus on stress. “We included educational sections to help employees identify the causes of stress and make them more conscious of the problem,” explains Jones.
The building society also introduced an employee assistance programme and a range of benefits, some of which are voluntary so employees can pick those that meet their needs. These include everything from a cycle-to-work scheme and health screening to laser eye treatment vouchers and a cash plan.
In addition, it put in place a sickness absence monitoring service to enable it to identify problems as early as possible. “We also ran workshops for managers to help them understand the issues. The way people are managed and stress is dealt with is key to dealing with it,” adds Jones.
Case study: Pete Goold
Pete Goold is managing director of Punch Communications, a public relations agency based in the East Midlands. Although his company has been running for five years, he only started employing staff in autumn 2007 and now has five employees. “PR is a fairly high-pressure environment so when I started recruiting people I was conscious that stress could be a problem,” says Goold.
To counter this he put in place a number of anti-stress measures. These include a regular massage for staff, monthly team night outs and a daily update meeting for the team. Additionally, once a month employees can leave two hours early for some ‘me’ time.
“We’re not a large firm so I can’t afford to put benefits such as healthcare or company cars in place. Instead I had to find benefits that weren’t going to have a huge impact on the bottom line but would show [everyone] they are valued,” he explains.