Guest Blogger Anna Keeble:
‘I have lived and breathed the grinding pressure of long hours, demanding deadlines and the intense stress of City life, whilst working in investment banking and more recently in financial PR. My work was always challenging and often highly pressured and as a consequence, I felt that I had very little time for much else. I was smoking, often starting with my first cigarette at 6am on results days, eating badly, not sleeping well and rarely drinking enough water or taking any exercise. I felt stressed and unhappy and most depressingly of all stuck in a rut, which I could not seem to get out of.
I remember feeling that all I did was work and try to sleep! I began to remind myself how much I loved exercise - before working in the City I had always been very sporty. I tried to take time out for the gym and ignored the frowns from some of my seniors, but it was hard to do. I knew I needed a break from my workload and I knew that going to the gym at lunchtime not only made me feel great but made me much more productive in the afternoon. However, it was difficult to kick-start this routine and harder still to ignore the guilt-trip for taking time out of the office.
Looking back and still today, I know that I am at my happiest and most productive when I am in good mental and physical shape. Stress is rife in working life and needs to be taken seriously. It is not only painful for the individual but it is costing UK employers £1.24bn with 105m days lost to stress each year. But with strategic investment in employee wellbeing, companies could cut absenteeism and boost individual productivity.
Now as a personal trainer, I have founded Get Fit For Purpose with another former Corporate-girl Nici Butchart. It is our belief that, with our understanding of the challenges faced by both employers and employees we can help innovative companies to maximise the potential of their people and retain the best talent. How? Through dynamic, individual programmes of fitness, health advice, nutritional advice and constant support and motivation. The result for companies is a reduction in costs related to staff turnover and absenteeism as well as an improved productivity and profitability – business wealth, through people’s health.
At Get Fit For Purpose we work with open minded, forward-thinking business leaders to create a completely bespoke experience for their company or top team. The programmes are created with and for individuals. But the impact and excitement is created at a company and team level - generating energy, camaraderie and a strong bond between individuals and teams.
We work with each individual to inspire them to identify a wellbeing purpose and then set smaller short-term goals to help them achieve it. This not only unleashes the potential of their body but also has a knock-on effect to their work as their confidence, energy and drive are all enhanced. Each programme runs in a four-week block, before being reviewed and re-built. During that time we provide constant support on and off line as well as offering all our clients a wealth of online resources and contributions from experts in their field such as doctors, psychotherapists and nutritionists.
People don’t get bored because their progress is regularly reviewed and we are constantly seeking to inspire and motivate them. Every week individuals tell us how they are getting on. Then, every four weeks we adapt the plan to reflect progress made and any barriers faced.
We work collaboratively with the employer who receives a quarterly report assessing the progress of the service on an average basis, incorporating data on any key markers identified at the beginning of the relationship.
As a nation, we are a long way from recognising the necessity of ensuring staff wellbeing. But some forward-thinking firms have weighed up the business case and are now seeing the benefit of promoting health and welfare. Google, Ernst & Young and BT have all seen absenteeism and staff turn-over drop after introducing wellbeing initiatives. We can help firms, no matter what their size, to do the same.
We are working with a growing tribe of companies who want to create a win/win for their people and their business, where a valued, healthy and happy employee will be a stronger asset to the company than someone who is demotivated and unfocussed.
Get Fit For Purpose is offering five companies the chance to trial the service at a discounted rate for three months. By the end of that time you will have real outcomes you can identify. If you are a progressive business leader, contemplating a new approach to investing in employee wellbeing, then get in touch. There are limited places. Early applications get priority at the discounted rate. Join our movement.’
Look out for more blogs from Anna Keeble and Get Fit For Purpose later in the year.