Alexa Chilton on INEOS’ physical wellbeing programme
The INEOS Energy Station (IES) provides employees not only with fitness and wellbeing tips, but also training programmes, nutritional advice, discounts on quality fitness equipment, nutrition products, as well as entry to fitness classes (at site and online), events and challenges to employees of all fitness levels and abilities worldwide.
In this article, Alexa Chilton, INEOS Energy Station project manager, outlines how IES is helping to promote its key priorities of safety, health and environment to its 26,000 global employees based across 192 sites, to support active and healthy lifestyles for all.
INEOS Energy Station
The INEOS Energy Station brand is strongly recognisable among our employees. Over the years the hub has grown and attracted more than 7,500 members worldwide. We want to encourage further registration and interaction, and encourage everyone to join the movement, whether that means being physically active or showing support through other health and wellbeing activities.
We engage with IES members in various ways:
- Ambassadors: we currently have 84 Ambassadors across 44 sites.Our Ambassadors are passionate about health and wellbeing, and encompass and encourage the INEOS ethos and spirit among their peers. They help to communicate new challenges and fitness/wellbeing content to all programme users.
- Facebook (closed group): posting health and fitness content from the IES platform and encouraging followers to like/share.
- Strava (closed group): giving kudos to followers on any fitness activities they take part in, thereby linking people and communities.
- News articles: providing updates on new gym openings, highlighting partner product discounts, updates on upcoming/completed challenges.
- Energizer Monthly newsletter (email and print): providing updates on new gym openings, profiling Ambassadors, highlighting partner product discounts, updates on upcoming/completed challenges and health and fitness tips.
- Challenges: Fun challenges are created to get staff business-wide involved, such as INEOS Tour de France Challenge, INEOS 1:59 Running Challenge, and INEOS Mystery Box Cooking Challenge.
- Fitness classes: encouraging employees to participate in fitness classes, including yoga, spinning, boxing, running, Pilates and more, either at site or online through Zoom and led by qualified fitness instructors.
- INEOS sports stars: INEOS has partnered with elite athletes in cycling, sailing, running and motor racing. These ambassadors will send messages to motivate and support to our members.
- Branding: whether in a gym or at a site, INEOS Energy Station branding is consistent across sites. It’s a well recognised brand.
- Energy store: partner with well-known fitness clothing, equipment and nutrition brands to offer discounts to members of the online platform. E.g. Polar, HUUB, Sports Tours International, New Balance, etc.
Setting ourselves apart
We feel that our programme is unique in what we offer employees – based on our investment in onsite gyms, sports teams and our online hub. Our colleagues are active and we encourage them to try a fitness class or go for a walk before, during or after working hours.
Our programme is always evolving and is based on the needs of employees. We believe that by investing in the fitness and wellbeing of our employees, we can:
- boost team dynamics and build an inspiring company culture
- improve physical and mental resilience and decrease sick-leave
- stimulate company pride and commitment.
We’re on a mission to help our employees improve their health and wellbeing, whatever their role, goals or fitness levels. To this end we are:
- building more facilities across our sites, so that more colleagues can access gyms and fitness classes
- collaborating with big sports brands to design bespoke running and cycling kit
- bringing onboard more nutrition, recovery and fitness experts
- looking at new ways to get employees participating in challenges.
The online hub (intranet) is also undergoing a transformation. It will become more interactive, with ‘at home’ fitness videos and printable programmes, inspiring talks, translation into multiple languages, and more. Also, by integrating social media further within the hub, we can share stories and successes to get more people active.
Being fit to work is about being safe, healthy, energetic, being our best, and being sharper during our working time.
To encourage more employees to sign up to IES, we have the following goals:
- produce a constant feed with articles, papers, statistics on everything relating to wellbeing
- expand the gym network within other INEOS locations
- offer realistic, yet exciting, exercise challenges that are inclusive and simple for all INEOS employees
- establish INEOS Energy Station as a recognised brand and to be a 'leading light' in health & wellbeing for the corporate world.
Case Study: INEOS Tour de France Challenge
In 2019, INEOS became the sole owners of professional cycling team Team Sky. It was relaunched as Team INEOS on 2 May 2019 and has subsequently been re-named INEOS Grenadiers. The INEOS community are avid cyclists, from beginners to advanced. As a result we decided to create our own employee INEOS Tour de France Cycle Challenge to get more colleagues interested in cycling and gain support for the cycle team.
During 2021 we held our biggest cycle challenge to date, with more than 2,400 participants and 1.3 million km covered globally.
The objective: complete all 21 stages of the Tour de France in teams of eight to 25. The team’s success is driven by the number of stages completed. We encourage everyone and all abilities to participate in the challenge and have some team fun.
Colleagues can accrue distances on any bike (including e-bikes and indoor trainers) and track their cycle activity via Strava, Polar, FitBit or Garmin. If colleagues don’t have access to wearable devices, they can submit manual entries as well.
Prizes include a £1,000 charity donation for all teams who complete all 21 stages of the challenge. During 2021 113 teams took part, raising £103,000 for charities of their choice.
Ahead of the challenge, colleagues were communicated to through all INEOS channels: monthly newsletters, group intranet, IES website, Ambassadors, social media and posters at site. We also provided a daily newsletter during the challenge with updates, motivational quotes and videos from the INEOS Grenadier cyclists participating in the Tour.
The response from colleagues has been amazing. Colleagues say the challenge is good for strong team building to complete the daily stage distance, while also having fun.
We are looking to make the 2022 challenge even bigger, with more participants and more kilometres cycled. Previously, due to Covid-19, we were unable to have an official launch at site. However we will be doing one this year when registrations open on 1 June and are hoping to attract 3,000 participants.