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19 April, 2018 - 12:20 By Kate Sweeney

Anglian Water turns tap on wellbeing

Anglian Water, one of Cambridge and the East of England’s largest industrial employers, has co-founded a fresh campaign to promote wellbeing across UK SMEs to counter revelations that millions of staff are suffering in silence.

It has joined forces with Business in the Community to identify and celebrate SMEs that are leading the way on wellbeing in the workplace.

A ‘Dragons’ Den’ style pitch event in London on Friday, June 8 is being hosted for SMEs to pitch innovative products or services that support employee health and wellbeing. 

These might focus on normalising mental health, promoting good quality sleep or encouraging physical activity.

The winning SME will be offered a mentorship with one of the expert judges as well as a £1000 prize.

A panel of four judges have been lined up to review the finalists’ entries: Amanda Mackenzie, chief executive, Business in the Community; Peter Simpson, CEOI at Anglian Water; Patrick Watt, commercial director of Bupa Global and Paul Geddes, CEO at Direct Line Insurance Group.

Previous wellbeing research has found employers across the UK are failing to provide adequate support to employees or equip managers with the skills to help them. 

More than three quarters of employees have experienced symptoms of poor mental health in their lives and for 62 per cent of them work has been contributing factor.

The initiative aims to change those statistics by recognising companies that have developed positive solutions to support employees to thrive, offer excellent support when they are unwell, and track how these efforts are improving the business bottom line. 

Peter Simpson, chief executive of Anglian Water and chair of the BITC Wellbeing Leadership Team, said: “This initiative seeks to change those terrible statistics by shining a spotlight on the pioneering products and services so many SMEs deliver to improve wellbeing in the workplace.

“Wellbeing is crucial for boosting productivity – reducing sickness absence and improving presenteeism. Many SMEs are enterprising in their approach to supporting wellbeing and are leading the way in this area and we want to share that best practice nationally.

“At Anglian Water we want people to be healthier than they would be if they weren’t working with us. There is not only a moral urgency to act on physical and mental health; there is also a clear business case for doing so. 

“As well as improved lives for millions more people, it means more productive, competitive and progressive businesses for the long term.”

The initiative is being launched ahead of Responsible Business Week (April 23-27), an annual campaign from Business in the Community, championing and illustrating what being a responsible business means and celebrating those businesses actively making a difference.

The award is open to all businesses with up to 250 employees. Enterprising SMEs are being asked to submit their entries online for review by the May 7 deadline.


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