Second Improving Workplace Health workshop “showed how resilient leadership is key to a healthy workforce”

Second Improving Workplace Health workshop “showed how resilient leadership is key to a healthy workforce”

The second workshop in a unique initiative aimed at helping Suffolk businesses better boost the health, wellbeing and productivity of their staff has been judged a great success by organisers.

For the second year running, Suffolk County Council is working in partnership with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to develop the Improving Workplace Health (IWH) initiative, designed to equip Suffolk businesses with the confidence and tools to boost workplace health.

An important element of the 2019 programme are four workshops, bringing together businesses and health professionals, to look at different aspects of building resilience – or an ability of a company’s staff to bounce back from difficulties.

The theme of the latest workshop, which was held last week at IP-City and attracted over two dozen participants, was on ‘building resilient leaders.’

The workshop heard from Daemonn Reeve, chief executive of Treatt, the Bury St Edmunds-based leading supplier of flavourings and fragrances. Daemonn gave an honest and engaging talk about how the company is empowering its employees by giving them a leading role in developing the company’s values and ethos, whilst doing more to support their mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Daemonn recalled how he in turn has been influenced by these changes to re-evaluate his own working practices and definition of what it means to be resilient.

The workshop participants then considered their own organisations and how they encouraged resilient leadership and the areas where more support was needed.

The detailed issues are now being shared with the IWH ‘virtual’ board, comprising Suffolk-based health sector experts, for their ideas and comments and which in turn will help shape the third workshop in the series.

The insights from the workshop will also be included in an emerging resource pack which will be launched at a health summit on 1 November. These resources aim to help businesses cut through the jargon that is sometimes associated with health and wellbeing and provide real world case studies and guides to assist and signpost companies to positive outcomes.

Cllr. James Reeder, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for health, said: “I am pleased to see that the momentum continues to build around this collaboration between Public Health and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to identify resources and strategies to support workplace wellbeing.

 There are, and will be, many challenges in the coming years that will test our businesses’ resilience, from the emergence of new technology to the simple fact that we are living and working later into life. By learning how organisations, such as Treatt, are supporting their staff and continue to be successful should be an inspiration to others. This project is incredibly important in how we anticipate and support our workplaces to adapt, grow and – most of all – remain strong and resilient in future.”

 According to John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce: “The IWH initiative is really gaining in momentum with the workshops providing great ‘safe’ spaces to share experiences and contribute to the resource pack.

 “It is a good thing in itself that Suffolk businesses are taking a leading role in supporting the mental and physical health and wellbeing of their staff. In addition, of course, the dissemination of bets practice, written from a business-eye perspective will help us all address the issues of lower productivity and absenteeism that can affects parts of our economy.” 

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