At Liberty IT we don’t say just we care about employee health and wellbeing, we show that we care, and are delighted that our efforts have been recognised by Great Place to Work with an Excellence in Wellbeing award, writes Johanne Jefferson, a member of LIT Balance committee
Our employee policies reflect an understanding of the need for flexibility, with options for flexible and remote working, career breaks and parental leave. Along with generous benefits for all employees including free flu jabs, eye sight tests, private health insurance and critical illness cover, there are a range of optional benefits that employees can chose. These cover a wide range of life circumstances such as income protection cover, dental insurance, childcare vouchers and discounted gym membership.
For me personally, I have benefited from many of these benefits. A recent eye sight test through the LIT scheme showed that my blood pressure was high. A quick follow up at my GP surgery proved it was just the stress of Christmas and everything is back to normal now. The peace of mind from knowing that I can access private medical care for me and my family is priceless and a benefit that I really appreciate.
But it doesn’t stop there. Liberty IT have had an employee led health and wellbeing committee, LIT Balance, since 2015. LIT Balance seeks to promote employee health and wellbeing by running initiatives and classes as well as providing access to information and support.
Healthy and happy
It is well known that a healthy lifestyle can raise endorphins that make you happy. LIT Balance run bodyweights classes, yoga and Pilates throughout the year to jeep employees fit. Alongside exercise we have brought in nutrition experts to give us ideas for healthy lunches, what to eat to avoid a sugar crash in the afternoon and event foods to combat stress. Every two years we partner with NI Chest Heart and Stroke to offer subsidised health checks; checking BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol isn’t always at the top of our to-do lists, so bringing them into the workplace makes it easier for employees check they are in tip-top condition.
If exercise sounds too much like hard work, we have a choir that meets monthly. Singing is also known to lift your mood and we certainly enjoy getting together at lunchtimes to sing through some popular songs. Starting a workplace choir has been a real highlight for me; and putting all those years of piano lessons to good use has certainly pleased my parents!
Last year we visited a residential home to perform and busked for our charity partner in a local shopping centre to help spread the cheer in our local community.
Sports clubs and social outings
Research from Gallup shows that having a best friend at work can increase engagement by as much as seven times, and let’s face it….it makes work more fun! One way we support this at Liberty IT is through social outings and sports clubs. For a small monthly fee, employees can join the social club in return for a monthly outing. Recent trips have included, dinner, theatre trip, rugby matches and go-karting. We also have a golf society and five-a-side football teams.
The rise of mental health issues such as depression, stress and anxiety is alarming. Our Employee Assistance Programme offer free confidential advice and counselling services for our employees, whatever situation they are facing. To coincide with mental health awareness day, we bring in experts to deliver presentations and workshops on mental health issues such as stress awareness and mindfulness. We also provide access to information leaflets through our intranet site on a range of topics. On the rare occasions that I can’t get to sleep, the deep breathing techniques I learned at a mindfulness workshop have helped me relax enough to drift off to the land of nod.
I am pleased to work for a company that is so committed to helping employees gain a positive work-life balance, and as a member of LIT Balance I think it is great that we are given the time and resources to run so many initiatives. Receiving the Excellence in Wellbeing award is very special and something that we are proud of.