Inaugural National Workplace Wellbeing Award winners announced

Friday, 8 April 2016

Dublin, 8th April 2016 The Central Statistics Office (CSO) was named Ireland’s best large employer at the inaugural National Workplace Wellbeing awards¹, which recognise employers that make a significant contribution towards improving the health and wellbeing of their employees. Coláiste Bríde, a 100-teacher secondary school in Clondalkin, Dublin 22 won the award for the best medium size organisation while personal tax advisers Fenero, also from Dublin, were named best small company. The awards were among a host of activities taking place across the country to mark Ireland’s second National Workplace Wellbeing Day.

Hundreds of employers, large and small, from the public and private sectors supported the day, which aims to improve employee health by promoting better nutrition and exercise in the workplace. They organised activities including health checks, exercise and fitness classes, nutrition talks and cookery demonstrations. Thousands of employers and employees also completed the “Lunchtime Mile” - a one mile cycle, jog, run, or walk - in the vicinity of their workplace.

The National Workplace Wellbeing awards, which were sponsored by Mercer, were announced at a special seminar in Croke Park for employers. Guests heard Danny McCoy, CEO, Ibec, call on more employers to promote better wellbeing within the workplace.

“In 2014 over 4 million days were lost in Ireland due to absenteeism by small businesses alone. Annually, 11 million days are lost at a cost of €1.5bn². Improving employee wellbeing is in everyone’s best interest from the individual as well as the employers’ perspectives. Traditionally, wellness in the workplace programmes are viewed as ‘a nice extra’ rather than ‘a strategic imperative’.³ Yet according to a new national survey⁴ of employees, seven in ten (69%) employees are more likely to stay longer with employers who show an interest in their health and wellbeing. What is possibly more revealing is that half would consider leaving employers who don’t,” he said.
Other speakers at the seminar, which was sponsored by Aramark Food Services, included representatives of Eli Lilly, Dublin City Council and the Environmental Protection Agency who shared details of their workplace wellbeing programmes. Gary Keegan, Director of the Irish Institute of Sport, which provides high performance support to athletes and coaches, outlined the concept of '168' – the number of hours in the week – and why the way people choose to spend them impacts their performance and well-being.

National Workplace Wellbeing Day is an initiative of Food and Drink Industry Ireland, part of Ibec.

Editors Notes:

¹ The Nutrition & Health Foundation Workplace Wellbeing Awards sponsored by Mercer

The judging panel for the awards comprised John Tracey, CEO, Irish Sports Council, Mary Connaughton, Director, CIPD Ireland and Finbarr Kiely, Principal at Mercer.

Central Statistics Office, Co Cork
Workplace Wellbeing Award winner, Large organisation with 250+ employees
The CSO launched its Workplace Wellbeing programme in 2015. The organisation, which is spread across three sites, offers a busy and varied programme of initiatives for its 830 workforce including exercise classes, expert talks, nutrition events, bike-share scheme and free hi-viz jackets. Participation is monitored to identify gaps that can be filled while absence metrics are being analysed to identify causes that could potentially benefit from workplace wellbeing initiatives.

Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Workplace Wellbeing Award winner, Medium organisation with 50 – 250 employees
Colaiste Bride was one of the first schools in Ireland to introduce an annual wellbeing week, a joint event for its 100 staff and 970 students. Each day of their wellbeing week has a specific theme e.g. Fitness and relaxation; Think Positive and Healthy Eating. In addition staff participated in a wide variety of wellbeing events and initiatives including the Cycle against Suicide, after school basketball and yoga, expert talks as well as a mentoring programme for newly qualified teachers.

Fenero Rosemount Business Park, Dublin 11
Workplace Wellbeing Award winner, Medium organisation with under 50 employees
This 16-person personal tax services company was one of the Workplace Wellbeing Day champions for the inaugural event in 2015. They offer a wide range of wellbeing support to their staff including weekly fresh fruit deliveries, healthy lunch options for company meetings; reduced rate gym membership, bi-annual health screenings, training buddy schemes for 5k and 10k walks and runs and an Employee Assistance Programme. They also have a weekly group 10 minute mindfulness session.

² Small Firms Association: Absence costs small business over €490 million per annum” report (2015)

³ Berry, L.L, Mirabito, A.M., and Baun, W.B. (2010) What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs? Harvard Business Review; December.

⁴ The research was conducted online by Behaviour & Attitudes on a nationally representative sample of 18-65 year old people employed in the Republic of Ireland. The fieldwork was carried out from 25th January to 2nd February 2016. A total of 996 employees participated in the survey.

About the Nutrition & Health Foundation
The Nutrition & Health Foundation is a multi-stake holder group that brings industry, government and health professionals together in a collaborative approach to reducing obesity in Ireland.

About Mercer
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 57,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $13 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a leader in management consulting. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.

Mercer Ireland
Mercer Ireland employs over 450 staff between Dublin and Cork. The company services the needs of over 500 corporate clients and c250,000 members.