Boston College's health and wellbeing revolution has seen improvements in absence rates, stress levels and its Ofted inspection report.
When Boston College in Lincolnshire undertook a thorough review of its benefits offering in 2012, it realised its existing cash plan was not being fully used or valued by staff.
"We had 50 people signed up to it out of about 460," says director of workforce development Keith Tharby. "It just sat there and nothing happened with it, and it wasn't marketed very well."
The education provider decided to make a new cash plan scheme a central tenet of its benefit offering, and took out a plan with Westfield Health.
"The scheme offers four bands of benefits and the college pays for all staff to be entered into the basic band," says Tharby. "Any member of staff that wants to either add dependants or pay for a higher band can do that, and a number have."
Alongside this, the college has introduced a number of other elements to create a wellness offering, including arranging a discount scheme with a local gym, free swimming for staff at lunchtimes, access to a range of hair and beauty treatments on the college site, and a counselling service.
The new scheme has helped contribute to a 2% drop in sickness absence and a stress absence level of 7.69% compared to a sector average of 14.71%, according to Westfield Health, while Tharby points to higher levels of staff engagement in last year's survey and even an improved Ofsted report as evidence that the broader benefits programme is working.
"There's a lot of anecdotal information but when you put the whole lot together we've reduced sickness, improved engagement and are delivering higher quality education," he says.
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