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Union Direct Account Manager Erika Sablinskaite explains how we’ve been getting fit, mindful, green-fingered, and all buddied up lately – and why building a healthy and happy workplace could be the key to future-proofing your business.


According to the Office for National Statistics, UK productivity was 15.1 per cent below the average for the rest of the G7 group of advanced economies in 2016.

This, alongside the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace evidence of deteriorating national workforce for the past 4 years – calls for action. Productivity has become a nationwide issue now addressed by the Government and HR professionals.


Technology and changing attitudes have enabled a more flexible, dynamic workforce – including working remotely, flexible working hours and using our own devices for work.  It has also made for a more connected and transparent world – pushing the emergence of glass box brands. The workforce is changing on the social level too, with people living longer – employers have a challenge of bridging the gap and creating engagement between a multi-generational workforce. Change is constant, but it does present multiple opportunities for employers to grow their business, by focusing on their biggest asset – THEIR STAFF.


Most recent companies voted to be the ‘’best to work for’’ in UK by employees include Google, Skyscanner, Expedia and Anglian Water, amongst many more, share a common denominator – staff wellbeing and engagement being written in the business plan. Talent Director at Skyscanner said: “We believe it’s our duty to provide a workplace in which employees can thrive’’, whilst Anglian Water CEO Peter Simpson said that wellbeing is written into his company’s business plan and annual reporting, and suggests that employees should be on the balance sheet in the same ways as businesses account for cash.

Whilst wellbeing practices and initiatives provide a challenge for measurement, a happy company culture that seeks to engage the workforce effectively can excel in talent recruitment and retention, supporting employee health and in the process – help boost productivity.

Engaged employees are more likely to see the business success as their own personal achievement. And if this is not reason enough to place the importance on engagement and wellbeing, the numbers are very compelling: highly engaged organisations have a potential to reduce staff turnover by 87% and reduce absence by 50% – also saving 150% of departing employee’s salary in recruitment costs. By looking after your employees – you are looking after your bottom line.


Here at The Union, we understand that what’s good for our employees, is good for the {UNION}. We have piloted our own wellbeing scheme in 2018 with a view to engage our staff, provide training opportunities across the team and a happier company culture to work in. For the launch, we have created a new department within the agency – the ‘Department of Happiness & Wellbeing’. Our creative team has developed a beautiful brand and tone of voice for the department, and we launched the wellbeing scheme with a ‘Good for {U}’ campaign for 2018.

Good for {U}

The Union’s Good for {U} wellbeing programme.

So far we’ve seen increased staff engagement and a more positive and inclusive culture within the business. The scheme is co-owned by a volunteer panel and has opened a platform for staff to champion and create initiatives they care about.

We have kicked-off in January with a branded water bottle, to encourage everyone to keep hydrated, followed by a mindful February, paired everyone with a new buddy in the office to help Unionites to get to know each other in March. Amongst the most favored initiatives was a fitness bootcamp in April and learning new skills in May. And all of this is just a small part of activity delivered so far.

Some of our happy Unionites enjoying a Good for {U} session.

Watch this space for more information on our success story and results.


We have researched the employer market in 2017 looking at the latest trends and changes in the workforce and workplace – to help plan for more future-proof internal engagement for our clients. If you’re interested in our findings and would like to find out more about the opportunities the changing workforce presents for your business – get in touch.


  • com. WELLNESS SCHEMES BENEFIT EMPLOYERS AS WELL AS STAFF: Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey reveals productivity boost health incentives can bring. Andrew Jack, September 2017
  • Independent: YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE AND HOW YOUR BOSS SPEAKS TO YOU ARE MORE VALUABLE THAN PERKS FOR WORKPLACE HAPPINESS: Why staff wellbeing at work is so much more than free lunches and massages. Cary Cooper & Ivan Robertson, June 2018
  • Engage for success: ‘’THE EVIDENCE’’ Research paper on Wellbeing and Employee Engagement, May 2014