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17 Aug 2023
by Oliver Atkinson

The AA’s Oliver Atkinson on why wellbeing self-help among its patrol teams is vital

The AA’s head of benefits and wellbeing, Oliver Atkinson, says the motorists’ organisation wants to improve its already high wellbeing score among its workforce, and reduce sickness absence

The AA’s Oliver Atkinson on why wellbeing self-help among its patrol teams is vital.jpg

 

The AA is a diverse organisation with just over 7,000 employees working in a variety of roles, from patrol teams out on the road through to our insurance and legal teams. 

One of our main business goals is to retain staff and so, as part of that, we’re looking at how we can enhance our wellbeing and benefits offering to really improve the overall job package. 

Consolidation is playing a big part in this process to ensure we are spending our resources in the right place to give our employees the best possible benefit and wellbeing package. 

Overall, wellbeing is viewed favourably within the organisation. In our latest annual employee survey, access to wellbeing scored 81%, so our focus going forward is trying to understand what we want to achieve with wellbeing and use that information to plug any gaps in our provision. A clear one is the need to be more proactive in our approach, rather than reactive. 

Engaging older workers 

Our patrol teams, who are typically above the age of 50 and male, are particularly susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries, which are quite a high cause of sickness absence. Although they can self-refer to physiotherapy, we want to explore what we can do prior to that. What can we do to get them looking after themselves and can we motivate them through incentivisation? 

However, before we do that, the main barrier is engaging this group with benefits and their wellbeing and accessing them, as they spend most of their time on the road. 

We’re already taking steps to improve engagement by carrying out employee surveys, taking an active part in networking groups, running topical webinars and regularly speaking with their managers about the wellbeing services so information can be cascaded down. We also plan to do a benefits roadshow later in the year. 

So, for us, the first step is to start engaging that workforce and find out what they really want, and what benefits and wellbeing initiatives this population of older male workers would really value. 

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