From partnering with an Olympic gold medallist to virtual briefings, Simplyhealth’s Angela Sherwood reveals how they led the way during Covid
When we launched our newly shaped Health and Wellbeing Strategy in January 2020 to support our 975 colleagues, little did we know that just a few months later, we'd be in a national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In that moment, our colleagues needed us, each other and our wellbeing support more than ever.
We had to quickly rethink our entire health and wellbeing plan for the year. We set about firstly making sure colleagues were safe and then explored how we could better support everyone, during this unsettling and unprecedented time. Speaking to many other organisations, I'm sure this is something we can all relate to.
Communication has been key. We've been taking the time to listen closely to our colleagues and their feedback, through regular pulse surveys, new starter virtual lunches, an in-depth working from home survey and a discussion feed on all internal "news" articles. We quickly adopted a rhythm of regular updates from our senior leadership team, alongside virtual colleague briefings. Our updates are available on a new coronavirus-related area of our intranet, providing a central hub for all colleague, customer and community news - judging by the hit rate this is something which has been hugely valued.
To supplement our wellbeing communications, each week we've hosted a variety of guest speakers, all delivered virtually through Microsoft Teams and Zoom. These are unusual times, so we decided to focus our efforts on helping colleagues to cope and adapt and stay healthy at this time. Our guest speakers encouraged colleagues to try something new, find alternative tools or see something from a different perspective. So far we've had mindfulness sessions, nutritional talks, yoga and other exercise workouts and tips for managing finances, just to name a few.
The last six months has taken its toll on everyone across the UK and has fundamentally changed the way we work and live. So in order to equip and support our colleagues for the journey ahead, in September 2020 we launched our brand new Health and Wellbeing programme - ENERGISE YOU.
With this significant investment we're taking a more long term view of supporting our colleagues' personal health and wellbeing. We've partnered with 1992 Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell OBE, to deliver a bespoke series of virtual events that'll span the next next months. The ultimate aim is to help every single Simplyhealth colleague to take control of their own health and wellbeing. Whatever their personal goals or ambitions, with our support we can help colleagues to make them a reality.
Click here to read the full article and more from COVER and Simplyhealth in their exclusive ‘Facing the New World' guide for employers and brokers.
Angela Sherwood is chief people officer for Simplyhealth
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