In January, The Growth Company developed and piloted the Leading Well programme in response to the increasing needs within leadership and management teams to address wellbeing issues in their organisations.
Fourteen IP Communications Ltd were one of the first businesses to complete the programme in April this year. Established just over seven years ago, the company has grown from just nine staff to 65 employees. They’ve recently expanded their business overseas to Europe and America and have opened an office in Florida.
Lisa Hough, Head of Support Services, understands the impact that a happy workforce can have on the performance of the business. “The wellbeing of our staff has always been important to us. As the business expanded, so did people’s workload and stress levels. And whilst we have implemented some things to make Fourteen IP an enjoyable place to work, it was increasingly important for us to ensure the senior leadership team had the skills and attitude to support people effectively” Lisa reflected. “With so much of our time spent at work, it was important for Fourteen IP that people enjoyed their time here and that we supported them to be the best they can possibly be – both inside and out!”
Lisa has been on many wellbeing courses before but had never felt as engaged as when she attended the Leading Well Programme. “I was so impressed with the wealth of knowledge and breadth of coverage that Leading Well offered” Lisa said, “The trainers were absolutely fantastic! They helped everyone think outside the box and view employee wellbeing from a different perspective”.
Many organisations support employee wellbeing through trying to ‘manage’ their health and wellbeing. “Leading Well focused on the culture of the business and how, through the behaviours of the leadership team, we all could help create an environment where employees were happy, healthy and productive” Lisa said. “Most importantly, the programme made me realise that the wellbeing of our employees wasn’t just on the senior management team’s shoulders. Self-help was a key theme, shifting our role from providing wellbeing solutions to facilitating change. It was an enlightening experience and one which has changed our whole approach to employee wellbeing”.
“The programme started the action planning process, which I presented to the rest of the management team, to gain their buy-in.” Lisa explained. “And everyone was on board”.
Lisa has started with the quick wins – influencing an environment which is healthier and happier – and really helping people manage their stress levels. Activity has included a review of company values and desired ‘wellbeing’ behaviours, introducing more inclusive social events that don’t revolve around drinking and the introduction of free fruit and healthy snacks for employees. “Employees are loving the changes, which are a step in the right direction in creating a happier and healthier workforce.”
The Leading Well programme also helped Lisa to review her own health and happiness. “As a leader of wellbeing, and to help with the necessary shift in attitude, it was also important for me to demonstrate healthy behaviours” Lisa said. “the advice I received on the programme has literally changed my life. I am so grateful to the trainers. I can’t speak highly enough of them and the impact they have made on me and my life”.
Since completing the course, Lisa has noticed increased and improved communication within the business, with people more freely discussing wellbeing concerns with colleagues. “People have also started to really embrace the idea of self-care and the office feels happier and more content. Whilst we are in the early stages of our journey – I believe in the next 6 months we will be able to start to see the impact of employee health through hard performance measures within the business”.
But Lisa recognises there is still some way to go and the Leading Well programme has helped path that journey. “Our plans are to upskill managers in recognising wellbeing issues and develop their confidence in talking about people’s wellbeing as part of our day to day conversations. Leading Well has given us sureness that this more proactive attitude to supporting people will in turn reduce sickness absenteeism and help people make fundamental lifestyle changes. The Leading Well programme has made us realise that we can have a positive and long-lasting impact on the health and happiness of our workforce – just by looking at it through a different lens”.