A housing firm and a foundry have become Kent’s first organisations to achieve a prestigious new business award, aimed at improving the health of their workforce.
Launched by Kent County Council in 2014, the Kent Healthy Business Award is based on the National Health and Wellbeing Charter but also focusses on improving the county’s environment and helps companies to improve productivity and profits by keeping staff healthy and safe.
The first recipients – from West Malling and Ashford – were independently assessed after meeting standards in areas such as leadership, absence management, mental health and wellbeing, physical activity, smoking and tobacco related ill health, alcohol and substance misuse.
MJ Allen in Ashford is the only ferrous and non-ferrous, casting and machining facility in the South of England.
The company held wellbeing days and offered staff NHS Health Checks as part of its programme to meet the accreditation; this encouraged staff to take part in the London to Brighton bike ride.
Assessors commented that the company has a “passion to work towards achieving the very best standards for the employees”.
Managing Director Tim Allen said: “We are really thrilled to have been recognised by Kent County Council with this important accreditation.
“Put simply, our staff are our most valuable asset. It naturally follows that our staff’s wellbeing is essential and this accreditation helps us towards keeping them and our business fit for the future.”
The other recipient, Circle Housing Russet which is based in West Malling, was praised by assessors for its ‘all encompassing and infectious’ positive staff and atmosphere, alongside a ‘true caring attitude towards health, safety and wellbeing’.
The companies will be presented with their awards at a special ceremony later this year.
KCC’s Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, said: “Improving the health and wellbeing of people across Kent is a key priority for us – from children and young people, through the working population and to older residents.
“This accreditation helps us to reach those workforces and allows local businesses and organisations to play their part, benefitting their staff and in turn their organisation.”
The businesses can work towards three levels – committed, achieved and excellence – and companies are invited to sign up to the Kent award scheme.