Northern Ireland Civil Service


Background

The internet-based wellhub is at the heart of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) award winning employee health and wellbeing programme (‘NICS WELL’), and has helped NICS:

  • create a unified corporate health and wellbeing brand
  • develop a network of over 170 wellbeing champions throughout an organisation of over 26,000 employees
  • bring a wealth of wellbeing resources to the fingertips of all NICS employees

This has resulted in business benefits such as increased job satisfaction, employee engagement and employee health and wellbeing as well as better work attendance, reflecting an overall saving of £1.6 million.

The wellhub acts as a centralised wellbeing information hub uniting all NICS in-house support and activities with a wealth of additional wellbeing resources and provides a community of ‘WELL’ champions with the necessary tools to help them improve employee wellbeing at a local level.

WELL Champions

Volunteer ‘WELL’ Champions are recruited from across the workforce. The wellhub provides the ‘WELL’ Champions with the support and tools necessary to act as local leaders and allow them flexibility to choose what they should do. ‘WELL’ Champions use the wellhub to post wellbeing news, listings of upcoming events, and even manage event registrations. By engaging and empowering volunteer champions the ‘WELL’ programme generates positive behavioural change at a local level. This cost-effective approach also provides personal development opportunities for the champions themselves.

Consolidating NICS resources

The password-protected wellhub can be accessed by staff anytime, anywhere, ensuring NICS employees are up-to-date with the latest internal wellbeing news, information on events, health resources, policies and useful contacts.

A wealth of wellbeing resources

The wellhub is loaded with personal health advice to help NICS employees achieve a healthier more productive life; including:

  • The latest health news
  • A health encyclopaedia
  • health information on over 100 lifestyle topics
  • Health and wellbeing videos and online tools
  • Interactive health checks
  • A nationwide health service directory

The NICS WELL programme raises staff awareness about common health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental ill health and stress. Advice is offered on how to make informed choices and improve health by undertaking positive health behaviour change with interventions provided which encourage healthy eating, weight loss, quitting smoking, increased physical activity, cancer screening and building resilience.

Meaningful results

Employee engagement has been high, two years after its launch the ‘WELL’ Programme has:

  • Recruited and trained 170 volunteer ‘WELL’ Champions.
  • Engaged with over seven thousand staff – with 74% of staff indicating they would make positive healthy lifestyle changes.
  • Witnessed over 80% of the workforce repeatedly engaging with the NICS wellhub.

This high level of engagement has generated a range of individual and business benefits including:

  • Increased job satisfaction (4%).
  • Increased employee engagement (2%) and employee health and wellbeing (2%).
  • Reduced staff absence due to mental health problems (2%).
  • Better overall attendance at work – reflecting an overall saving of £1.6 million.

The wellhub has helped NICS become a more productive, attractive and corporately responsible place to work and has generated benefits for employees, their families and the wider working community as well. It also helped the organisation win the best Work-life, Health & Wellbeing category in the Irish News Workplace and Employment Awards 2014.