From mindfulness sessions to getting your six to eight glasses of water a day, when it comes to healthy habits, staff at the Education Training Collective (Etc.) are hitting the mark.
The team’s efforts have been recognised with the Better Health at Work Continuing Excellence Award.
A step up from the Gold they received last year, human resources advisor, Laura Moon, said: “This is fantastic recognition of the work that has been put in, from staff across the group, to help promote healthy habits and wellbeing not just in the workplace but also in the wider community.”
For the college group, which incorporates Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training, Redcar and Cleveland College, Stockton Riverside College, The Skills Academy and Tees Valley Catering, it has meant a whole host of activities aimed at encouraging people to make small healthy changes.
“As a large employer in the Tees Valley, encouraging the health and wellbeing of our staff, is built in to our values and strategies,” said Laura.
Aiming to reach beyond the workplace, she added: “By raising awareness and promoting healthy habits, we hope to help share healthy messages not just with our staff but for these also to extend to family and friends.”
The group has also acted as mentor to a local secondary school in the early stages of the process.
The Better Health at Work Award recognises the efforts of employers in the North-east and Cumbria, addressing health issues within the workplace. There are five levels available, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Continuing Excellence and Maintaining Excellence. Those that reach the highest level can go on to achieve Ambassador Status.
Over the last 12 months Etc. staff have come up with innovative solutions to encourage healthy lifestyles among its employees including hydration challenges, the launch of a menopause support group, webinars, resilience training and yoga sessions.
Co-ordinated by the human resources team, ideas are gathered through the staff welfare group, reaching into every level of the business. Staff members also volunteer as health advocates, tasked with helping to spread the word.
Laura said: “Recently we tried our first No Meetings Week, a suggestion that came from our senior management team. During that week we ran a series of talks and workshops including prostate cancer and breast cancer awareness, mindfulness sessions and pension webinars to target financial wellbeing.”
Liz Elwell, Etc.’s group head of human resources said: “The health and wellbeing of our staff is a priority for us here at the Education Training Collective, never more so than during these challenging times.
“We are constantly looking for ways to encourage and promote healthy lifestyles and support mental wellbeing, so to have our efforts recognised is an incredible achievement.
“For us it is not just about creating a happier, healthier workforce and creating a positive working environment, but also recognising the important part our colleges have to play in promoting health and wellbeing and raising awareness in our communities.”