Purpose: To help prevent infections to save and improve lives
GAMA Healthcare specialises in infection prevention and control products. The pandemic fast-tracked growth with turnover increasing by 120%, and headcount increasing by 84% at a time when most colleagues had moved to remote working as a result of the pandemic. This presented huge challenges as many colleagues were new to the organisation and had to balance significant changes in their work and personal lives. Feedback indicated that:
- Boundaries between home and work were blurred with the need for more flexible working patterns;
- Employees were not “switching off” and were working longer hours;
- Face-to-face interaction and the social aspect of a working environment were missed resulting in some teams feeling disconnected.
Being supportive and caring is one of GAMA’s Company Values and the feedback identified opportunities for taking a holistic approach to employee wellbeing to help colleagues stay motivated and engaged; which ultimately delivers better business performance also.
Feedback from colleagues and results from the The Happiness Survey were assessed by HR using best practice guidance and a holistic wellbeing strategy that encompassed 4 main pillars: Physical, Emotional, Financial and Social was devised, shared more broadly, approved and launched by the joint CEO’s. Survey results also enabled the creation of a targeted and focused action plan, including a review of benefits. Individual elements of each pillar were assessed and feedback was sought to see where these should be improved.
A ‘Meet Your Colleague’ initiative was introduced, involving 30-minute online meetings for groups of 3, to help build stronger connections and cross-functional working relationships and foster a sense of belonging and engagement. Voluntary online financial wellbeing seminars were also introduced to help employees plan for significant life stages.
The charity work that GAMA supports is closely aligned with their purpose and also became part of the holistic wellbeing strategy by addressing physical and social needs and a sense of “giving back”. Whilst in lockdown, colleagues across global offices were encouraged to have fun while taking part in physical challenges and to send in videos. Each minute involved in activities like hula hooping or wall-sits unlocked money from the charity pot. When Move4SEPSIS was launched for a month, every employee was asked to walk, run, cycle, or row 72km to keep physically and mentally fit. Reaching the distance unlocked even more money for charity.
Finally, GAMA introduced 13 mental health first aiders across the business and this team sparked the idea for ‘Stress Container’ workshops, attended by over a third of the business. Mental Health Awareness training was provided to all line managers and regular email reminders go out to colleagues to encourage them to utilise the support MHFA’s provide, in addition to support from the company’s EAP and financial wellbeing initiatives. Line manager training has enabled managers to better identify any signs that employees need support and regular one-to-one check-ins, as well as quarterly reviews, ensure wellbeing is kept front of mind and additional support needs are quickly identified.
Through The Happiness Index (THI), GAMA were able to measure key employee engagement and happiness drivers to power their strategy. They saw the following scores for wellbeing, including crucial elements such as psychological safety:
- How satisfied are you with the balance between your work and home life? 7.6
- How positive are your relationships at work? 7.4
- How free do you feel to be your true self at work? 7.8
The overall survey score for personal happiness and engagement was 7.9, ranking above the 7.4 UK benchmark. The most highly valued elements of the wellbeing strategy were: “Meet my colleagues” sessions; “protected” lunches where employees have an hour each day to have lunch and time to relax; and flexible and hybrid working patterns, which are available to all. The financial seminars had high attendance rates and were highly valued based upon feedback received. Half a day of personal development time is given to every employee every month. All these elements have now become a regular part of everyday ways of working to ensure GAMA is able maintain high levels of employee engagement.
Over the two years of the pandemic and since this time, attrition rates remained extremely low at 7%.
GAMA have recently moved to a new office, and ensured that the office design aligns with brand, values and their wellbeing strategy with collaborative and social spaces. There are free onsite weekly massages, onsite health checks through Nuffield Health; a large variety of complimentary drinks, fruit, and healthy snacks and meals, as well as “Juice Tuesday”. There is also now a dedicated wellness room and a social committee has been established to support the value “We have fun”.
Read GAMA Healthcare’s winning Leading With Purpose approach