Avery launches its Staff Well-being Programme
High levels of staff transience, combined with a sometimes unattractive reputation for the adult social care sector, means it is often a challenge to attract and retain high-quality permanent staff. Avery knows that investing in its employees, through better training, career pathways, broader and appropriate benefits packages, flexible working and pay patterns, proactive support for well-being and healthy lifestyle choices, plus better information and communication, all goes to improving productivity and happiness at work, and leads to higher staff morale and loyalty, and thus retention.
The AveryOne Programme has been designed and implemented to provide genuine value add to employees, based upon their own feedback to Avery on those features that would enhance their working experience and career opportunity. It has also became clear that this retention platform can be an effective staff attraction tool in recruitment.
Adapting its approach to person-centred care for its residents, Avery has developed and launched in December 2019 an employee-centred solution to help retain staff; to better support and reward them, to enhance their personal well-being at work, to increase their job satisfaction, to boost their benefits package, and enhance their continued professional development (CPD) and career opportunities. An App for both iPhone and Android, AveryOne’s deliverables include weekly pay (quicker access to pay based on shifts worked), vouchers and coupons (helping money go further in ways that matter), a well-being focus that supports a proactive lifestyle (with health advice on-line), plus healthcare, optical and hospital plans.
In 2019, Avery Healthcare were the first major care sector provider to partner with a third party to offers its employees instant access to a proportion of money or salary already earnt within the standard monthly pay cycle. The company is keen to embrace new technology wherever possible for the benefit of residents and staff, and the instant payment system gives employees greater control of their finances, and mitigates the need for them to use high-interest credit such as payday loans and credit cards for when they need quicker access to funds.
Very few of the staff are desk-based with access to a computer, but virtually all staff possess a mobile phone. This led Avery to implementing a mobile phone App that is compatible with both Android or Apple devices and that is quick, simple and easy to use.
AveryOne offers employees instant access to discounts with hundreds of product and service suppliers, including leading supermarkets, fashion and technology retailers, restaurants, cinemas, travel companies and hotels, experience days out such as theme parks, gyms, spas and beauty services. New retailers are being added on a weekly basis, with some offering up to 60% off their recommended retail prices.
Based upon research from the employees prior to this service being implemented, such benefits were high on the list of staff preferences for how their overall rewards and remuneration package could be enhanced, making their money go further in ways that they could individually choose.
A key element of the App is the focus on staff well-being. It provides access to information for on-line GP services, hospital and healthcare plans, death in service benefits and eyecare discounts. It also includes a free service called Hapi Life, which offers employees proactive life advice and guidance on such things as:
- managing money more effectively
- nutrition and diet
- work-life balance
- personal productivity
- spiritual and religious matters
- national charity days and events
The AveryOne discount platform App also offers employees access to details of other core benefits such pension schemes, training and development opportunities, as well as uniform policies. It also provides access to Avery’s website and the company’s quarterly magazine, Welcome Home.
These elements within the AveryOne Programme align with other staff retention initiatives such as:
- training opportunities for all staff to support their continual professional development (CPD)
- from the Avery Apprenticeship Scheme to nurse revalidation and QCF Level 5
- career pathways for all categories of staff, both care and non-care
- including those who wish to change direction in their career
- such as a carer to a trainer, or culinary staff to housekeeping
- some of the longest and most thorough new recruit inductions for the sector
- competitive rates of pay, continually reviewed and updated in line with the marketplace
It has been Avery’s finding that in general terms an increase in staff overall well-being levels can lead to the following organisational improvements:
Increased Productivity – well-being can directly improve the mental and physical health of the workforce, with staff who are motivated to complete tasks contributing more to the organisation
Decreased Absence – workplaces that value well-being will experience reduced absences thanks to better health behaviours, better stress management and greater morale
Improved Retention – it is more costly to continue to replace rather than retain
Positive Health Benefits – positive well-being can have physical benefits as well as mental, with staff more likely to adopt and maintain healthier habits thanks to an effective well-being strategy
Enhanced Communication – various ways for staff to provide feedback on their working environment and experiences; through regular meetings with their line manager, anonymous staff surveys, staff group meetings, plus annual or six-monthly personal development reviews (PDRs)