Whether you’ve been working from home or going in to your place of work over the last 12 months, Covid-19 has affected us all in different ways. However, the one consistent message that’s coming through from businesses is the impact that it’s had on our mental health – 91% of Liverpool businesses recently surveyed reported that staff health & wellbeing has reduced, and 85% said that staff don’t feel as connected to each other. We are all in need of a boost and to connect back up with each other.
So we’ve been taking a ‘virtual’ tour of the Liverpool business community to see how some companies have adapted and re-energised their workforce during lockdown using a really easy technique: simply encouraging their staff to move more. We caught up with Carolyn Knott, Head of Partnerships and People at Growth Platform, who helped to set up a simple and inclusive challenge at work to help staff connect and reduce their sitting time, “We asked staff to log how many miles they walked, ran or cycled each week and we plotted it against a map to chart our journey. Each week we gave an update at our staff meeting – to keep the interest up we themed updates with destination facts, recipes and on some occasions fancy dress! Every staff member that took part said that they enjoyed it, with 87% reporting an increased motivation to be more active and feeling healthier.”
Now more than ever, it seems, organisations are prioritising staff health and wellbeing. It’s no longer seen as the nice ‘fluffy’ element of a company’s CSR strategy, but rather organisations are waking up to the clear business benefits in reduced absenteeism, reduced turnover and increased productivity. This is in addition to the more recognised individual benefits that being more active brings, such as a boost in mood, feeling less stressed and being better able to focus at work.
We spoke to MSP (local experts in workplace physical activity), who have come together with Liverpool City Council and NHS Liverpool CCG to help more companies in Liverpool reap these benefits, through a free business support programme called Liverpool Active Workplaces.
Liverpool Active Workplaces is open to any organisation, big or small, that employs staff based in Liverpool, and enables your organisation to grow a network of over 100 businesses across the city that have pledged to support the promotion of being active at work; the likes of the Very Group, Merseyrail, Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have already signed up for the 2021 programme!
Businesses in all industries are stretched at the moment, but the team at Liverpool Active Workplaces are doing lots of hard work behind the scenes to make it easy for you to implement. As part of signing up, you’ll receive a suite of practical and simple resources for your workforce, access to training, entry in to inclusive staff challenges and tickets to the launch conference where you’ll hear from experts from across the city about how being more active can be used to support your business in the recovery from Covid-19.
The last time that Liverpool Active Workplaces was rolled it in 2016 it received fantastic feedback from the local business network. One HR Manager from Amey told us, “It’s been really fantastic; we’ve had people from different departments mixing for the first time. This programme has helped to provide a bit more structure and purpose, which has helped keep up interest and momentum. It has made a massive difference to the organisation, and has been appreciated by senior managers and employees alike.” Feedback also showed that 91% organisations who took part reported an improvement in staff communication and morale, and almost all employees reported an improvement in their job satisfaction.
As we move through the different phases of the lockdown and easing of restrictions, there is a real opportunity for businesses and employees to start to adopt new behaviours that could result in better productivity, healthier staff and a greener environment.
So, if you want your business to start feeling the benefits of moving more you can get signed up to Liverpool Active Workplaces free today at www.merseysidesport.com/liverpool-active-workplaces. Sign-up takes just 2 minutes and it’s amazing how quickly it can start making a difference.