Changing a work culture is about changing people’s behaviour. It does cost time to make behavioural changes in your work force, and the results may seem at first, difficult to measure. But the results are in fact clearly measurable and surprisingly for the better!
In this article, you will read that in 2013, a Belgian company called Securex, implemented a ‘Movement Culture’. You will see, the results of the Move@Work program, the cost of the program, and what made it successful.
Let’s listen to Erik Gerritsen (Head Internal Prevention Securex) about his experience :
Question #1: “First of all what brings a company to implement a movement culture?”
Erik Gerritsen: “Securex is a 1500 employees company providing HR-services in Belgium, with a mainly sedentary population, standard rates and costs of sick-leave were calculable. Being ourselves, a health & safety provider, we are of course sensitive to health issues of prolonged seated work behaviour.
Together with our global HR health policy and the project of a new future headquarters building, these facts were made the soil in which move@work could grow as a collaboration between different departments : Internal Prevention – Facilities – Internal Communication – and, Innovation. Today, 4 years later, move@work has now expanded to all Securex offices. New ways of active working are tested regularly, and we can demonstrate in conferences all the information and the results we have gathered about the move@work project at Securex.”
Question #2 :”What are the factors that made move@work successful…? “
Erik Gerritsen : “Probably the most important aspect for the success of move@work in Securex is that we get full support from our board – and we also use the ‘lead-by-example attitude’ by the managers. For example, our medical doctor was one of the first to adopt the blue sitting ball. This had a great power on his team to experience that ‘it’s OK’ to adopt the new behaviour.
On the other hand an individual approach is essential. We experienced that in the offices where the employees received individual coaching on ergonomics & movement, the result is much stronger. People feel personally recognised in their wishes and limitations and this empowers their engagement … and thus new actions are taken … and, we see their behaviours change. Since the very beginning and even now, we are continuously and regularly communicating about move@work : when testing new methods like trampolines or bikes, when we collaborate with universities, … One must understand that cultural change is a never ending story!”
Question #3: “When I hear this, I think; what will be the cost of implementing this movement culture?”
Erik Gerritsen: “In fact it is more about spending the normal budget in a different way, than finding extra money for the budget. For example in 2013, we took the opportunity of a team-building event to buy and introduce the first sitting balls. We invited our employees to become the first move@work ambassadors.
Now, when a chair is broken we just replace it with a new dynamic office chair. That cost may be 30% more than the original chair, but we recover this cost easily because we do not have to buy any new seats for the standing meeting rooms. It’s more about the choices one makes ….. If we choose to stand during a meeting, no new chairs are needed!
A 3rd example: for the new headquarters, we had space and budget for a garden. We just asked the architect to provide a walking path for walking meetings. These are the new priorities for Securex!
Workshops and individual coaching are a real time-cost factor that we have brought into our legal obligation of the ergonomic work-place assessment. But one can also use the annual training budget for it.
The internal communication actions like printing the door-posters “walking meeting” or the video about “how to use a sitting ball”, come from the HR budget for “Well-being” and “Internal Prevention”.
So to wrap it up; Securex is a company which invests in healthy employees because they are convinced of the soundness of the return of investment. It’s the core of their entire business. But the choice of the actions can be set up for any budget and for any company. This is the purpose of WooveUp and this is what we do.
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