E-business development agency, The North East Regional Portal, invested in the programme for its team of 10. Chief Executive Norma Foster explained: “We were very keen to participate in the Wellbeing at Work programme. As a very busy and professional organisation striving to lead the way in e-business, we set ourselves high standards and therefore commitment is paramount.”
“However, there is a huge difference between the buzz people enjoy from doing a busy job and a workforce simply daunted and unable to cope with strains forced upon them. I wanted to ensure that the team could access information and support to maintain their wellbeing and so remain happy and productive – after all a burnt out workforce is an unproductive workforce and it is in no-one’s interests to find themselves in that situation.
WHAT WE DID
The programme included a series of workshops, coaching and support, engaged employees and helped them to become pro-active in their healthcare so that they could maintain and prevent future illnesses.
Rumana explained: “Stress is the modern-day plague of the workplace. As we lead increasingly busier and more hectic lives we are more susceptible to the debilitating effects of stress. This can lead to a host of problems for business including increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, and low staff morale and motivation.
“There are a number of factors that can affect an employee’s health, including work-life balance, recurring health problems and stress. The programme aims to help employees identify and manage these issues.”
The programme is divided into six sections and the topics include: Life, Body, Mind, Emotions, Spirit and Environment. Other topics are available and can be selected according to the needs of the organisation.
The learning helped staff make personal decisions in their health and to become more proactive in how they approached their health. Changing habits into more positive ones and taking new approaches created a big change not only in the individuals but the whole team.
Norma Foster, CEO said “Since Rumana delivered the programme, productivity has soared and, although absenteeism wasn’t an issue, sickness has fallen and everyone’s feeling great!”
Some of the team share their experiences:
Maria Humphreys, Project Manager
The programme couldn’t have come at a better time for me. During the course of the programme my dad had a stroke and normally stress of this nature is very difficult to cope with.
Instead, I managed very well through eating healthily and avoiding quick fixes like alcohol and coffee. I’m grateful to Rumana for reminding me that I am in control of what I consume, and there is no doubt in my mind that the last few months would have been a lot harder to deal with if I had been the ‘old me’.
I enjoyed the benefits of changing diet straight away. I felt less irritable, more alert and focused and had lots more energy and motivation. At the start of the programme I rated my energy levels at 40%. Now I’m at 70% and still climbing!
Still, the biggest difference for me is dramatically reducing the amount of alcohol I drink! I didn’t drink that much anyway – maybe a couple of glasses of wine a week and the odd big night out – but now I can enjoy a night out with friends (who are drinking) and not feel obliged to be drunk too. I have gained back so much more time through not feeling sluggish or hung-over the day after a night out. I’ll never say never but it’s nice to feel 100% in control!
Pascal Fintoni, Head of e-Business
I was feeling tired and run down at the beginning of the year and felt unwell for long periods of time. Although I coped with work well, I always felt that I could do with an energy boost. After consulting with Rumana I discovered that certain foods may be contributing and I took steps to reducing a number of foods, including wheat and diary, from my diet. Almost immediately I felt the effects; I couldn’t believe that something so simple could have such profound results! Now, some months later, my energy levels are at 100% and I’m able to tackle my workload and responsibilities head-on.
The Wellbeing at Work programme was revealing in many ways; I often used to skip meals and snack on junk food, but Rumana taught us how important diet and nutrition is, particularly with wellbeing. She showed us how some really simple decisions can result in lifelong changes.
Sidsel McKeith, Operations Manager
The programme has been inspirational and has changed my whole approach, not just towards healthy eating, but towards adopting more holistic approach to healthy living. It has given me much greater awareness of the choices I can make to maintain good health through appreciating the importance of not just a nutritious and wholesome diet, but also paying attention to posture, exercise, detoxification and emotional resilience as part of the whole mix. Realising that it’s not a chore to burden myself with, but more a positive decision to take constructive action has been life-changing and I have been hugely motivated by Rumana’s teachings.
Liz Johnson, Project Support
I have been plagued with migraines since I was a teenager and have often had to resort to lying in darkened rooms for days in agony. Not even prescription painkillers could reach it at times, and I was at my wits end trying to predict the headaches and reduce the pain. The wellbeing at work programme took a completely holistic approach to health and Rumana explained how the food we eat and the chemicals that we unwittingly consume can be closely linked to migraines and other debilitating conditions. After consulting with Rumana, I kept a food diary and managed to identify the food and drink that trigger the attacks. Although I still do experience some migraines the frequency and intensity have reduced significantly – it’s such a relief!
The programme has also has a great effect on other parts of my life – some things I didn’t even realise. Problems like tiredness, which I’d put down to lack of sleep, really lay more with not eating the right things, and at the right times.
Now I’m so much more aware of what I eat and do, and how it will affect me. I now feel totally in control of what I put into my body and understand how to maintain my health and wellbeing.