Worktrack is a voluntary sector organisation, based in Edinburgh, which helps people into employment by providing training and advice. The organisation employs 18 people.
In 2006, Office Manager Paula Kenny decided that implementing a programme of health at work initiatives would fit well with Worktrack's Investors in People agenda.
They say you should walk half an hour a day and I'm doing that now, just going to work and back.
In the first 12 months of the programme, Paula and her colleagues conducted an employee health survey, organised two Pedometer challenges and ran a healthy eating quiz. Weekly lunchtime walks have been introduced, free fruit has replaced biscuits at meetings, and Worktrack's board has agreed to subsidise staff membership of local gyms by 50%.
Paula feels that enthusiasm and a light-hearted approach are essential to generating employee involvement.
“Whoever is organising the programme has to believe in the cause and they have to make it fun. You have to keep your sense of humour about it because you're going to come up against some scepticism, but you just have to keep plugging away.”
Paula Kenny, Office Manager
The pedometer challenge has inspired several employees to increase their activity levels well beyond the end of the week-long competition.
“I used to take two buses to work but the Pedometer challenge showed me how much I would walk by not taking the second bus and, in terms of time, it's about the same.”
Carole Chisholm, Finance Officer