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Engineering company leads the way with building a great workplace initiative

Heidelberg Engineering UK has found the results of building a great workplace plans reflected in increased productivity and long-term employee gains.

Many organisations complain of unmotivated staff that lack drive. However, at Heidelberg Engineering they have developed a team who share a keen ambition to achieve high performance; when a new problem presents itself, they work together to solve it. All this is very commendable, but how can this level of high performance be sustained in the long-term?

Sustainable employee performance and productivity stems from staff and company wellbeing, which can be summed up in these three key areas:

Brave leadership

While Heidelberg’s director Krysten Williams has a distinct advantage in having a team of top performing employees, she knows this can’t be taken for granted. By proactively asking staff for their views on the workplace, Williams leads a culture of ‘wellbeing, strength and confidence’.

Based on a solid foundation of long-term productivity, Heidelberg worked in partnership with Rachel Helmn from The Results Centre to develop a quantitative and qualitative perspective on staff wellbeing. Using a confidential, anonymous online survey, staff answered questions about company culture, engagement and communication, workplace environment, professional development, reward and recognition, workload levels and their health, including stress levels.

Creative solutions

Finding out what staff think about the business environment is the first step to addressing long-term wellbeing and ultimately, productivity. But it doesn’t stop there. It is equally vital to carefully review and think creatively about how to address the results of what staff think about the workplace.

Following a review of the online survey and combined with Rachel Helmn’s report and recommendations, Heidelberg developed a strategic plan with actions for positive change. One of the creative solutions to staff feedback was a series of ‘walk and talk’ events, where staff had the opportunity to openly discuss with Krysten their concerns and ideas for improvements. Other changes included a ‘time out zone’ so employees could take breaks from their desks as well as enhanced office and car ergonomics to help improve sitting posture and reduce potential back problems. Staff also pledged to improve their overall wellbeing on an individual basis. This was further supported by Rachel through coaching staff to achieve their goals.

Keep the passion alive

Although wellbeing is a hot topic in HR and organisational culture, it often receives only short-term attention. For Heidelberg, wellbeing has become a standing agenda item in weekly meetings, and is now featured in the company’s ongoing appraisal process.

At the core of the programme was the need to identify and reduce staff stress. So Rachel Helmn was asked to deliver a workshop on how to handle pressure. Staff were able to recognise the difference between pressure and stress, identify triggers and build their own resources. Additionally, with 54% of their workforce belonging to the 45-54 year-old group, health and wellbeing prevention forms a key feature of this long-term focus on workplace design.

Positive staff feedback and the general success of Heidelberg’s programme and Rachel’s support has been strong.

One manager commented: “Raising awareness of wellbeing among my team has had an immediate positive effect on morale.”

Krysten William’s feedback was also positive. “Asking staff for their views on wellbeing in the workplace meant that I was able to gain a new perspective as to what needed to change and how we could improve things. It was essentially our evidence for investment. Employee wellbeing started as a key priority in our business plan – now it’s part of our culture. Leading by example ensures a culture of wellbeing is top of everyone’s agenda. This is intrinsic to how Heidelberg performs now and in the future.”


Call Rachel Helmn for a free workplace design discussion on 01858 414240 or email