“Bluestone understands that by looking after the wellbeing of its people and creating a happy workforce, they in turn will look after the staying guests, creating memorable moments and experiences and encouraging repeat visits.”
Bluestone holiday resort is based in Pembrokeshire, attracting over 150,000 staying guests annually and employing over 700 staff in a wide range of different occupations. The business prides itself on creating a unique and differentiated guest experience, delivered through an exceptional team. With the ethos of ‘Every Person Counts’, Bluestone understands that by looking after the wellbeing of its people and creating a happy workforce, they in turn will look after the staying guests, creating memorable moments and experiences and encouraging repeat visits and positive referrals.
Every team member has such an important role to play in the Bluestone daily operations and by focusing on the health and wellbeing of its people, not only does this reduce absence levels but also fosters a work environment where individuals can thrive and perform at their best.
Going through the Healthy Working Wales (HWW) process provided a cohesive approach to developing a unique Bluestone Employee Wellbeing Programme. By having a more detailed understanding of the clear links between work and the health and wellbeing of our people we were able to devise initiatives and strategies to improve the overall employee experience.
An important element of support has been the ability to readily access information and best practice case studies. It also broadened our understanding of available support services and resources to help develop our approaches. HWW facilitating networking opportunities was also invaluable to our learning and development of policies and approaches including being able to reach out to the HWW network to discuss challenges and share best practice ideas.
A key element of our programme was investment in training for managers to understand the wider factors that contribute to employee absences. As a result, managers are much more proactive in improving workplace arrangements, for example ensuring there are scheduled welfare meetings, and better equipped to support staff returning to work from illness with workplace adjustments, phased returns to work and access to occupational support where required.
We prioritised employee mental health and wellbeing by:
We can draw a correlation between the increased uptake of the employee assistance programme, in particular counselling services, and a reduction in absences relating to stress, depression and anxiety. This demonstrates employees feel better supported in the workplace and are able to continue to be in work as opposed to being absent. This is further facilitated by managers introducing temporary adjustments to support the individual where appropriate.
We are delighted to have achieved the HWW Gold Standard and testament to the success of our Wellbeing Programme is the feedback in our June 2021 survey that 85% of our people believe that employee wellbeing is a priority for the business and that there is a positive wellbeing culture.