Pilotage decided to improve health in the workplace and, according to a summary issued by Wellr after a year’s health work, the results are overwhelming. Total health has improved by 8% and as far as physical activity is concerned, the company has gone from having as many as 19% in the risk group to having 0%. The number of people in the risk group in the pain and injuries category has almost halved and quality of sleep in the working group has significantly improved. We asked the Pilotage CEO Michael Swall about their successful health initiative.
What have you done to improve health at your workplace in such an impressive way?
“Before we found Wellr, we had compiled our own health wheel during a summer closure. We then looked at the results during a company workshop and everyone had to come up with suggestions on how we should work together to improve health at the company. It was interesting, but at the same time it was difficult to measure and evaluate the results. So when, by chance, I heard about Wellr, who clarified and visualised each individual’s health wheel and at the same time gave us a clear overview of how well we were at company level, it was much easier and quicker for us to use that. We met again later to discuss the results and jointly established new focus areas in order to improve as a company.
How did you go about getting so many people at the company to be more physically active?
“We used the competition feature in Wellr and we also used monthly meetings and newsletters, etc. to encourage everyone to do more exercise. As CEO, I tried to lead by example. I sent pictures of myself exercising and recorded videos on the running track or on bike rides in which I encouraged and challenged the whole gang (via the challenges feature in Wellr) to do some exercise that increases your heart rate at least 3 times a week. Sometimes with an attractive prize and sometimes not. In order to get better at everyday exercise and stress, we’ve interwoven physical activities into various gatherings during the year. Together we’ve practised yoga and Thai boxing and tried out mindfulness. We’ve put the issues of stress and everyday exercise high on the agenda in everything we’ve done. We’ve run races and shared inspiring health podcasts. We’ve sent out articles, videos, recipes and other inspirational material in newsletters in order to learn more about stress and physical activity – which actually belong together! But the single biggest impact was active monitoring through our health coach. We’ve really exerted ourselves to build the concept of health into our corporate culture.”
What are your goals for next year?
“We were at a company-wide health level of 71% when we started. We set the joint goal of ending up at 85%, which turned out to be very ambitious. We ended up at “only” 79%. We’ve therefore established a 3-year plan in which we have a goal of 85% in 2022.”
What do you think is required to take health at the company to the next level?
“We need to carry on putting personal sustainability on the agenda. Health consists of so many aspects. Physical, mental and social health. This also includes organisational and social work environments. We’ve recently introduced health and wellness training hours during working time in order to focus more on health. We became certified as a Great Place To Work workplace (One of Sweden’s best workplaces) this autumn. As part of the certification, we measure well-being, leadership, pride in our work and in the company and other areas. We believe that it’s important to combine leadership, sustainable enterprise and personal sustainability and to include all these aspects as a natural part of our day-to-day work. We see clearly that we get results in the form of figures when we invest in the people.”
Is there anything you’d like to add?
“We decided early on to base the company on values that were previously considered to be soft values. I feel that too many companies adopt a more mechanical approach and focus on numbers and results, etc. The modern employee’s needs differ from those of employees 10 years ago. In order to attract (and retain) the best people, we need to be able to offer something more. For that reason, one of our values is Personal Sustainability. It’s still in its infancy, but we’ve recently started the process of introducing value managers or “Mood Managers” which is their working title at present, in every office. The aim is for the Mood Manager to provide the management with support in work on values in day-to-day tasks, including health. Soft is the new hard if you ask us!
Fact: Pilotage operates as consultants in the construction and real-estate industry. They help property owners, funds and investors with project management, consulting, commercial development and leasing. They work on projects all over the country and have offices in Stockholm, Malmö, Göteborg and Örebro.