Gower College Swansea's Human Resources (HR) team were recently honoured with the prestigious 'Best Health and Wellbeing Initiative Public/ Third Sector 2023' award by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
The CIPD People Management Awards are among the most respected and competitive accolades in the field of HR and people management, and this year, Gower College Swansea's HR and Wellbeing team stood out among its peers from across the UK.
This award is a testament to the College's commitment to employee welfare and the success of their innovative health and wellbeing program, particularly the work done to raise awareness of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, and the support it has put in place for staff.
Some examples of this include regular Menopause Cafes, management training on how to support perimenopausal and menopausal staff, opportunities for staff to meet with menopause specialists, and seminars on how to manage symptoms. All of which have contributed to Gower College Swansea being awarded a Menopause Friendly Accreditation status.
Recently, Gower College Swansea proudly hosted a menopause-focused roundtable event with government menopause champions (Mims Davies, Minister for Social Mobility and Youth Progression, Caroline Nokes, Chair of Women and Equalities Committees, Carolyn Harris, Swansea East MP and Helen Tomlinson, Menopause Employment Champion) and key local employers at Sketty Hall Business School to discuss Menopause in the Workplace. Staff and Students have also had the opportunity to try out the Menovest TM, which simulates the feeling of a hot flush.
Staff have also been able to participate in the Newson Health Pilot Initiative where they can receive unbiased, evidence-based advice and treatment for their perimenopause and menopause. The winning initiative, which was celebrated for its inclusivity and effectiveness, has had a profound positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the College's staff members, with one staff member saying, “this scheme has drastically changed my life and I feel much more positive about the future as a result”.
The College’s initiatives extend beyond menopause and encompasses various aspects of health and wellbeing, including weekly fitness programs, mental health support, stress management workshops, and healthy eating initiatives, all of which can be readily accessed by staff through the dedicated wellbeing portal.
In a recent survey conducted with staff, 93% felt that the College supports their health and wellbeing. Positive feedback has also been resounding, with one staff member exclaiming, "I have never worked anywhere before that invests so heavily in wellbeing and I truly believe there is something for everyone, depending on whether it’s fitness related, arty or if you have underlying health or mental health issues and need access to counselling or physio. I feel very lucky."
The College also holds Wellbeing Days throughout the year, with staff actively encouraged to participate in a range of free activities, workshops and information sessions that promote physical and mental health.
Other initiatives include the long-service awards which recognises staff loyalty, and awareness days around mental health and LGBTQ+ inclusivity. The College recently scooped up the Stonewall Bronze award for leading LGBTQ+ inclusive employers.
"Our HR team has always been committed to the wellbeing of our staff, acknowledging that their wellbeing and health are paramount to the success of the College," said Director of HR, Sarah King.
"Receiving this national award from CIPD is a tremendous honour and validates the hard work and dedication our HR and Wellbeing team consistently demonstrates."
By fostering a culture of recognition, wellbeing and support, Gower College Swansea has created an environment where employees feel valued and motivated to perform at their best.
The award ceremony was held at a glittering event hosted by CIPD at JW Marriott Grosvenor House in Park Lane, London. The College was represented by key members of the HR and Wellbeing team, who proudly took home the award.
This recognition is not only a testament to Gower College Swansea's commitment to its employees' wellbeing but also serves as an inspiration for other educational institutions and public-sector organisations to place the health and wellbeing of their workforce at the forefront of everything they do.
A recent article in The Times, our commitment to raise awareness of menopause and the support in place for staff was recognised. Read it here.