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Wellbeing at work: ‘not just free fruit’ says British Safety Council

A report on employee wellbeing has found a lack of understanding on what the term means, leading to ill-defined programmes such as free fruit offerings.

“Too often, unlike the highly professional approach applied to risk assessment and risk control, wellbeing efforts have been marked by a combination of real enthusiasm and commitment married to a woeful ignorance of what will make a difference,” Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council, said.

“This positivity could dissipate into incoherent programmes of free bananas and occasional ‘health weeks’, featuring Indian head massage and aromatherapy.”

The British Safety Council report, Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work, suggests a set of metrics for effectively measuring wellbeing programmes and policies.

International meeting planners have seen an increase in conference delegates with dietary and allergen requirements during event registration, according to IACC’s 2018 Meeting Room of the Future report.

Mark Cooper, IACC CEO, stated: “Last year, when I asked a room of 200 meeting planners if managing dietary needs was a challenge and 75% or more raised their hands, I knew immediately that we needed to do more as an association and industry.

“As we conducted more research, we saw clearly that there was some valuable insights and best practice that if adopted, would help both our planner and venue community. This is just the beginning and we hope that in the near future we will see more training and certifications to support the competent management of dietary needs.”

There are a number of initiatives the meetings and incentives have made in response to these challenges. Venues are offering a more diverse food menu to delegates wanting to avoid calorific overload while attending conferences.

RSA House has introduced a fuelling not feeding concept, based on the principles of the Glycaemic Index (GI). Low GI foods are designed to offer delegates a menu that helps them stay alert during conference days, often characterised by insufficient natural daylight. Menus include vegetables, nuts, seeds, vegetables, wholegrains and fruits.

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