How Strata reduced work-related stress by 68%

For over 100 years, the desire to improve people’s lives has driven everything that the team at Strata do. But as their employees navigated an unpredictable and testing time, could they make a measurable difference to their people’s lives?

With a storied 100-year history, Strata are a leading developer committed to building “homes” rather than “houses”.

A family-owned business with well over 100 employees, Strata’s culture is built upon a genuine motivation to do the right thing and give their people the space to grow and flourish.

As Olivia Frost, Head of People at Strata, says, “We want to ensure that our people have an amazing experience at Strata, from being a candidate at interviews, through to joining us, maybe leaving us and anything in between. We want to make sure that experience is great throughout.”

However, over the last few years, fostering a happy and healthy team has been extremely challenging. From pandemics, to soaring living costs, to day-to-day crises, the wellbeing of Strata’s employees has been tested in new and unpredictable ways.

Discover how Strata reduced work-related stress with Champion Health

Strata’s leadership team saw the strain their people were under, and they wanted to make a difference.

“One of the big challenges facing us was helping our team transition into this new world. We knew that we were going to have to help the team adapt and change going forwards,” notes Gemma Smith, Managing Director at Strata.

Employees remember how they are treated in times of turbulence and challenge. Strata’s leadership team were determined to support their people at a time when they really needed it.

To provide this support, they needed an innovative and tech-driven solution that would:

  • Shine a light on the areas of wellbeing where their people needed support
  • Build a wellbeing strategy based on actionable data, rather than “gut feel”
  • Engage every demographic of their workforce with wellbeing

So, in November 2020, Strata partnered with Champion Health.

Engaging every employee with wellbeing

Partnering with Champion Health provided Strata’s leadership team with a dynamic digital platform that’s accessible to every demographic of their workforce, regardless of where they work, how they work, and the unique challenges they face.

“Having a platform that was virtual, that anyone could do wherever they were, gave us that maximum flexibility. It meant that we could provide a wellbeing offering for every team member,” adds Gemma.

Alongside 24/7 access, Strata’s people were also provided with a platform that personalises to them, regardless of their wellbeing wants and needs. For example:

  • Parents are supported with masterclasses to help them with the challenges that parenthood brings
  • Wheelchair users will find seated workouts led by Paralympian Amy Conroy
  • Employees experiencing musculoskeletal pain discover actionable advice on creating an ergonomically healthy workspace

By integrating an inclusive and personalised platform into their wellbeing offering, Strata significantly increased the accessibility of their workplace health strategy. The impact of this was highlighted when Champion’s platform was launched, with two-thirds of Strata’s employees immediately completing their digital health assessments.

Upon completion of the health assessment, Strata’s team could then follow a bespoke wellbeing journey – from tailored action plans, to personalised guidance and curated content.

The enthusiasm with which the Strata team embraced and engaged with Champion’s platform quickly translated into positive changes being made by employees across the business.

“The platform has had a massive impact on my wellbeing. In particular, the workouts to support my back and neck have really improved my musculoskeletal health,” says Olivia.

Matthew Bloomer, Head of Customer Journey at Strata, notes, “The relaxation techniques have been great for me. I’m normally a nightmare for not switching off, but they really helped me with this.”

“My health assessment identified that I was having caffeinated drinks too late in the day. Since cutting that out I’ve been waking up so much more refreshed,” adds Natalie Wilson, Marketing Manager at Strata.

Data-driven decisions

While their employees followed tailored action plans and took steps to improve their health, Strata’s People Team dived into the data to discover the true state of their people’s wellbeing.

Through their company health report, they now had access to hundreds of data points, across every area of wellbeing. These in-the-moment insights revealed that, among other things:

  • 25% reported issues with sleep were affecting their work
  • 59% cited lack of will power as a barrier to engaging with wellbeing
  • The average sitting time per day for Strata’s employees was 12 hours and 9 minutes

With their organisation’s wellbeing data in hand, the team at Strata now owned the tools they needed to build a targeted wellbeing strategy, that would address each of these challenges.

As Gemma says, “It was really important to follow the team’s lead, to be really present, to listen to what the team were telling us, and Champion Health’s services allowed us to do that.”

With expert guidance from their Champion Health Wellbeing Lead, Strata’s leaders also identified employee stress reduction as a key focus of this new data-driven wellbeing strategy. Diving deeper into this area of their company health report, they discovered that of their employees:

  • 59% were experiencing stress at work
  • 55% were moderately stressed
  • 15% were highly stressed

The data clearly showed that, by developing wellbeing initiatives that reduced employee stress levels, the leaders at Strata would make a measurable difference to their people’s lives.

Building an impactful wellbeing strategy

The leadership team at Strata had the insights, now it was time for action. Working closely with their dedicated Wellbeing Lead from Champion Health, they built a comprehensive wellbeing strategy on the foundations of the data-driven insights they now had access to.

“Champion Health’s platform gave us the data to put a wellbeing strategy in place that was really beneficial for our team members. Before we had that, we were really just going on gut feel as to what we think our team would need,” says Gemma.

Having identified stress reduction as a key aim of their wellbeing strategy, the People Team worked alongside their Champion Health Wellbeing Lead to identify and introduce a raft of wellbeing initiatives aimed at proactively measuring and reducing employee stress levels. These included:

  • Arranging 1:1 consultations with each employee, to discuss their workloads and work-related stressors
  • Introducing “talking sessions” – drop-in sessions where employees could discuss concerns with their managers
  • Identifying “Stress Champions” within each team, whose job it was to hold monthly focus groups in the workplace and discuss actions for change

Measuring the impact

Ultimately, the success of any wellbeing strategy is measured by impact. When they rolled out the second round of health assessments, Strata’s leadership team were able to measure how much of a difference their data-driven wellbeing strategy had made.

The impact of their new wellbeing initiatives was clear to see. When the two health assessment data sets were compared, the results revealed:

  • High stress was reduced by 80%
  • Work-related stress was reduced by 68%
  • Motivation to improve wellbeing was increased by 41%

Alongside the data, the team at Strata could also see the impact that the Champion platform was having on the wider culture of their team.

Gemma recalls, “We saw team members helping each other, and having conversations that they might not have had if they hadn’t had the opportunity to reflect on their own health and wellbeing.

“We saw people posting on internal comms being open and honest about their own results, and how they were improving their wellbeing.

“I think that the team having the confidence to be open with each other about their own wellbeing can only be a real strength.”

Cementing Strata’s reputation as an organisation that cares

Strata’s carefully devised wellbeing strategy hit the nail on the head and the leadership team have made a measurable impact to their people’s lives.

The organisation is already reaping the rewards of their commitment to employee wellbeing. By introducing Champion’s platform at a critical time, the People Team at Strata showed employees how much they cared about their wellbeing, and how much they were willing to invest in it. The significance of this has not been lost on Strata’s people.

As Sally Thompson, Head of Forecasting at Strata, says, “I genuinely have that feeling that the leaders at Strata actually care, and invest in the people here as well as their jobs.”

And Strata’s reputation for going the extra mile has impacted their recruitment as well.

“People have been saying that they want to work for us because they hear that we’re doing things slightly differently,” adds Gemma.

Strata’s leadership team are now determined that the progress they have made will not falter. Within Champion’s Pro package, they will continue to work closely with Champion’s wellbeing experts to improve and tailor their data-driven wellbeing strategy and ensure that it always targets the areas that matter the most to their people.

As Olivia says, “Champion Health’s platform has helped us progress from a reactive wellbeing strategy, to a proactive data-driven wellbeing strategy. I’ve already seen the impact of the changes that we’re making, and I’m looking forward to getting feedback on our initiatives so that we can continually improve year on year.”

Strata is one of many leading organisations that uses Champion Health’s services to prioritise the wellbeing of their people.

To find out how you can reduce work-related stress and engage every employee with wellbeing, get in touch.

Other content Karsten has contributed to:

12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast Episode #21

Boosting your wellbeing with nature

Eating Disorders in the Workplace

Other content Olivia Yates has contributed to:

12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast Episode #21

Boosting your wellbeing with nature

Eating Disorders in the Workplace