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AOP Awards 2018

Health and Wellbeing Practice

Meet the finalists for Health and wellbeing Practice of the Year 2018

This award will recognise the practice that understands the important role that health and wellbeing can play in job satisfaction. Entrants must be able to demonstrate the management systems and initiatives they have put in place to motivate, engage and support their staff. They will have established the awareness of wellbeing and the important role it can play, recognising that a happy, healthy workforce is essential for a successful business and helps retain an energised team.

The finalists for Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year are:

Opticare Opticians

Practice Director, Laura McAlpine, tells us about the importance of motivating staff and making sure they feel supported.

AOP Awards 2018 - Health and Wellbeing practice finalist - Opticare Opticians

What initiatives do you have in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff?

To ensure the health and wellbeing of my staff I encourage everyone to wear fitbits, we regularly have distance walking challenges, and optometrist, Lynn Maclaren, and managing dispensing optician, Anne Allan, also hold weekly swim challenges. Following this, five of our team joined Slimming World and have lost five stone so far.

I have encouraged staff to choose charities to work with and half marathons have been run to raise funds for meningitis treatment and research. Lynn held an Alzheimer’s coffee morning in the practice to raise funds for the charity closest to her heart. We are now organising a fundraising ball and a charity walk along the Great Wall of China for Emily, a patient of ours who needs respite care. This has been a real boost to staff morale and gives us a feeling of pride within our local community. I have also organised group bonding days at a spa to promote the feel-good factor and relieve stress from work.

“By supporting my team, they then support each other, feel more appreciated and deal with patients in a more focused and attentive manner”

What has been your most successful initiative and why?

The most successful initiative has been introducing staff appraisals last year that have allowed individuals to share how they are feeling and assess any training requirements and career progression opportunities. This has been followed up with regular one-to-one meetings, allowing myself to get to know everyone on a more personal level and give praise where possible. Team morale is now at an all-time high and the positivity in practice is reflected in our patients. Everyone now feels their personal development is considered regularly and they have a say in the running of the business.

Why is it important to motivate and support your staff?

It is important to motivate staff so they can be themselves and have pride in their work and personal achievements. By supporting my team they then support each other, feel more appreciated and deal with patients in a more focused and attentive manner. Everyone feels that they can speak and they will be listened to, therefore any issues are now dealt with at an early stage which has improved morale.

What are your three top tips when it comes to motivating staff?

  1. Care for their mental fitness by regular appraisals and one-to-one meetings, and allow any small annoyances to be addressed before escalating into a more troublesome problem. Generally, this makes all staff much happier and everyone feels they are listened to within the practice
  2. Encourage a healthier and fitter lifestyle within work and at home. This results in less tiredness as the day progresses avoiding the mid-afternoon wilt and allowing us to remain focussed throughout the day. We are therefore able to give our maximum attention equally to all patients whether they attend early morning, mid-afternoon or later in the day
  3. Encourage staff to support charities and local projects close to their hearts. This promotes a real feel-good factor within the team and with our patients. It makes us feel that we in turn support our local community

How does it feel to be nominated and shortlisted for this award?

Being nominated for this award is brilliant, the whole team now have an extra air of excitement and anticipation of a good night out ahead of them. It is true payment for the hard work we have all put in.

Richard Petrie Optometrists

Practice Owner, Davina Dosanjh, tells us how her positive staff members are the heart of her practice.

AOP Awards 2018 - Health and Wellbeing practice finalist - Richard Petrie Optometrists

What initiatives do you have in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff?

I have always been invested in the people who support me. I genuinely feel and know that without them, the practice could not be as successful as it is. I truly believe in having a work-life balance and actively encourage this to be sought.

Regular one-to-one meetings, weekly updates and monthly staff meetings allow us to come together and talk to one another. The biggest benefit we have experienced recently was by using a local business service, MindFit. Debbie Leafe, the owner, is a coach and I had contacted her for support with communication and positivity, initially. Since November 2016, we have had regular sessions with her as a group. I have provided one-to-one sessions for some staff members with her, in order for them to talk through anything they feel they need to. Debbie has helped us as a practice to be open-minded, communicate better, be more positive, look after ourselves and has given us some amazing skills to take away, not just in the workplace, but also to take home. This allows us to flourish in positivity, mindset, mindfulness and communication. Debbie will continue to support us through the next few months also, as we have some staff changes due to maternity leave and all staff are looking forward to this.

“I truly believe in having a work-life balance and actively encourage this to be sought”

What has been your most successful initiative and why?

MindFit training with Debbie has been our most successful initiative. It has allowed us as a team to reflect on communication and has encouraged us to strive for better communication with one another. Positivity and inclusion of all team members has improved in the workplace and staff have become more involved during meetings.

Why is it important to motivate and support your staff?

Staff are the face, sound and heart of the practice. They reflect your ethos and morals. Motivation and support of staff is essential to foster interaction, communication and support for the business to thrive. It helps staff enjoy their work environment. In turn, I feel as though my staff are motivating and supportive of me. They make a great team and with support have bloomed as individuals and progressed in their roles.

“Staff are the face, sound and heart of the practice. They reflect your ethos and morals”

What are your three top tips when it comes to motivating staff?

  1. Listen to your staff
  2. Find out how each person works and let them use their strengths in their roles – this will naturally give them satisfaction
  3. Provide time for them to speak and be open to bringing in experts for assistance with mental strength strategies that can help them deal with the pressures they face

How does it feel to be nominated and shortlisted for this award?

Absolutely fantastic. I am pleased for my team, they deserve recognition for all the effort they have put into opening up and trying to improve themselves. It takes a lot of effort and an open mind, not something that some people would find easy. I cannot wait to share the news with them.

Specsavers Keighley

AOP Awards 2018 - Health and wellbeing practice finalist - Specsavers Keighly

Building a culture of transparency, trust and support is key for Ophthalmic Director, Raj Gill. He tells us about how Nerf Wars and a mental health toolkit are among the wellbeing initiatives at Specsavers Keighley.

What initiatives do you have in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff?

Specsavers Keighley is on a journey, and there is still a long way to go. I love the unity of the team and have spent time encouraging team bonding. We've identified that play fuels creativity, incentivises camaraderie and fuels positive behaviour. This has been driven through creative activities. My personal favourite was Nerf Wars, and subsequently finding foam darts all over the practice for weeks after.

What has been your most successful initiative and why?

We have built a culture of transparency, trust and support. Ensuring all team members feel valued. A significant initiative has been creating a mental strength tool kit and with the help of Chakra we have managed to de-stigmatise mental health and create an environment where we can talk without fear. There is always an open door, an open mind and an open ear to listen.

“There is always an open door, an open mind and an open ear to listen”

Why is it important to motivate and support your staff?

A significant amount of life is spent at work and I am aware that life is too short to be unhappy. I take great pleasure in being surrounded by a happy, smiling team – I cannot do anything but smile back.

What are your three top tips when it comes to motivating staff?

A degree of stress exists in everyone’s lives, but being able to appreciate and control modifiable triggers enables all members to enjoy their job, perform better due to fewer distractions and ultimately enjoy life. The aim is to provide everyone with the opportunity to be more mindful of the beautiful world around them and not just to run on autopilot. My advice would be to have fun, smile and enjoy better conversation while being present in the moment and in the business. Staff are rewarded for promoting mindfulness.

How does it feel to be nominated and shortlisted for this award?

We do not need to win the award to prove that health and wellbeing is important to us because it is something that we will continue to encourage and develop. But, it would be great for my team to be acknowledged by someone other than me that they are doing a great job.