Strictly’s Claudia Winkelman and comedian Henning Wehn host Personnel Today Awards

Strictly Come Dancing’s Claudia Winkelman and German comedian Henning Wehn teamed up to host the Personnel Today Awards ceremony, which celebrated outstanding achievements across a range of HR categories.

On November 30, the Grosvenor House Hotel, opened its doors to some of the UK’s most outstanding businesspeople as the 2015 Personnel Today Awards ceremony unfolded.

The awards recognised exceptional initiatives across different divisions of HR, from Diversity and Inclusion, won by HMRC, to HR Team of the Year, which was scooped by publishing firm Penguin Random House. Graduate Scheme of the Year, a new category for 2015, saw Fujitsu come away with the title.

The Health and Wellbeing category named engineering and professional services firm Arup as its winner, and focused on the efforts of HR teams to promote the wellbeing of their employees.

Arup’s winning entry showcased how the company established an Arup Health Gateway as well as free health assessments and a remote health coach advisor. All this lead to more than two-thirds of employees being actively engaged in improving their health and wellbeing.

Entries from runners-up in the health category covered crucial topics such as mental wellbeing, healthy eating and regular exercise, with Barclays Bank launching a unique offer for its employees to purchase a Fitbit Flex, fitness wristband at a 50% discount.

The awards serve to highlight how more and more companies are increasingly recognising employee health and wellbeing as a crucial factor when it comes to a productive workforce.

This shows how areas that were previously considered highly personal, such as diet, mental health, and exercise, are now very much integrated into the professional sphere.

With statistics showing that Londoners spend around 1,700 hours at work a year on average, it’s an extremely positive sign that employers are taking responsibility for employee wellbeing and making it easier for workers to maintain a healthy lifestyle as part of their job.

In-firm initiatives such as free fruit and bottles of water, as well as free medical assessments and discounted gym memberships are all great incentives for employees to adopt healthier habits. With the undoubtedly positive effects on productivity, it is in a company’s best interest to implement such schemes.

In addition to those initiatives put forward by employers, it’s also crucial for employees to take control of their health and establish a good work-life balance.

Meditative exercise such as yoga has gained in popularity as a way of alleviating stress and mentally switching off from work.

Furthermore, a good night’s sleep is increasingly recognised as crucial to both physical and mental wellbeing, with many workers choosing to invest in highly supportive mattresses such as these which relieve pressure points and help to prevent joint pain.

The sheer number of pioneering workplace schemes implemented by the participating companies and celebrated by the Personnel Today Awards places much-needed emphasis on the importance of a collaborative approach between employers and employees to health and wellbeing.

This is hopefully an initiative that will be widely adopted across more and more UK businesses. For the full list of categories and winners, visit the Personnel Today Awards 2015 website.

Image courtesy of The Pool UK via YouTube, with thanks

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