Rolls Royce based in Filton, N Bristol have worked with Wesport Active Partnership throughout the past year to address the challenges linked to the factors of a busy working environment and an ageing and increasingly sedentary workforce. The company leadership team and Health and Wellbeing lead as part of their global Livewell health and wellbeing scheme were keen to engage with more local opportunities for their workforce. There was also an increased focus globally on increased levels of mental health and wellbeing support and a strong focus on increasing active commuting.
Through the onsite Nuffield health gym contact, Wesport was able to meet with the Health and Wellbeing lead and share the local opportunities available through Wesport. A partnership agreement was reached with an initial action being to undertake a staff survey to understand the barriers and motivations of employees for becoming more active around the working day. Upon analysis of this data, we then helped to put in place a programme of activity including:
Initial Yoga taster as part of International Womens Day
Subsequent on-site yoga sessions set up
Guidance on developing an outside area with placement of Table Tennis table
Signposted staff to local Inter-workplace competitions
Walking Sports taster event and sports fair
Internal summer activity tracking team challenge
Peer nomination programme
Physical Activity Champion training
Installation of Boditrax machines- body composition monitoring
Of the 3,000 staff employed, over 650 took part in the survey which gave us some great insight into the barriers and needs of employees to be more active at work. The membership of the current onsite gym was fairly low and many staff weren’t engaging. We worked more closely with the gym manager to integrate their activities. Setting up a lunchtime yoga class was a huge success which quickly grew to 3 classes a week. A Sports fair and Walking Sports lunchtime taster event, really showcased the local opportunities available in leisure centres and local schemes and also gave us the opportunity to chat to people and get them thinking about being active during their lunchbreak.
The Summer Workplace Challenge saw nearly 200 staff engage in a team competition to accrue the most points through being active, all tracked via the Workplace Challenge website. We found that the more active staff encouraged less active staff to be part of their team. We ran a peer nomination programme as part of this to reward those staff who had not only increased their own activity but supported others to do so too. This was a great motivation tool and we are planning to run once again this summer.
Having somewhere outdoor to relax during lunch was asked for and we worked on setting up an outside area with a Table Tennis table centrally positioned which has been well used and encourages staff to take a break away from their desk. A challenge ladder was also developed and a leader board for those who wanted the competitive edge.
With an ageing workforce and many employees no longer taking part in ‘sport’ we felt it was key to introduce people to the lower levels of activity now on offer in the community. We ran a Walking Sports lunchtime taster and encouraged teams of colleagues to get together. This was supported by the local Football officer and we signposted to the local clubs and sessions.
The training of a group of internal Physical Activity Champions was delivered in June. This was a great opportunity to find out what the needs and barriers are for staff to engage and for the group to come up with some tangible examples and activities they could look to introduce and engage their colleagues. This group are now meeting regularly and feeding their thoughts and ideas into the wider Health and Wellbeing group.
We have also started to explore some more specific interventions an Active Retirement Proposal to help those getting close to retirement age, an understanding of the need to be more active in later life and signpost to local opportunities and engage in volunteering. We have also looked at running a programme for those who are most inactive using a fitness tracker supported with a mentor. We hope to run pilots in both of these over the next year.
Ian Carr, HSE Manager EMEA “For a relatively small investment we have seen a huge return with benefits for both our employees and the organisation. We hope to build on the initial success as we now have a plan in place for regular activities that we will be supporting and encouraging staff to get involved with. Having a partnership with a local organisation has helped immensely in navigating the minefield of sport and physical opportunities available. Wesport have become my ‘go to’ for advice and have signposted to us to some great local activities”
Chris Rew, Employee and Peer Nomination winner, “The Workplace Summer challenge has been great for me, it has improved my health and mood which has improved my work, plus it has been good from a social stand point, discussing our sports together and even going out on a few bike rides together in order to get some more points for the team! It’s great to have won this nomination award purely because it means someone else thinks I have helped make a difference for them, which is a great feeling for me! Encouraging them has also helped to encourage me as well. Bring on the cold, dark commutes in the coming months!”