What More UK invests in ‘most valuable asset’

A free and thorough health screening ‘MOT’ has been offered to every employee at housewares supplier which recognises its workforce as ‘its most valuable asset’.

The Lancashire-based manufacturing company was inspired to introduce the two-yearly health check following the death in 2012 of a valued and much-missed colleague, Aiden Conway. He died aged aged just 45 from prostate cancer, which has a high cure rate if it is diagnosed early and treated appropriately.

The 15-minute one-to-one health check is designed for early detection of a range of health issues which may require further investigation and possible treatment. Carried out by a qualified and experienced doctor, the check includes a series of blood tests, a blood pressure check and various other routine tests, plus a chance for employees to raise any medical concerns they may have. Each employee then receives a confidential follow-up letter. If the check does flag up concerns, the employee is encouraged to consult their own GP or healthcare provider for further investigation.

What More UK director Tony Grimshaw said: “We’re all so busy in our work and home lives that our health sometimes takes a back seat. Often we’ll only go reluctantly to the doctor when there’s already something wrong with us, even though we all know prevention is better than cure. Having these two-yearly health checks makes good sense and as a company we’re happy to make the time and stand the cost because we see it as an investment.

“We routinely maintain our 500,000 sq. ft of manufacturing and distribution buildings, our 55 plastic moulding machines and our bakeware presses, so why wouldn’t we also maintain the wellbeing of our most valuable asset – our staff? When we lost Aiden we saw what it took out of his family, his friends and his colleagues, and it was decided then to start our company health screening project. We think of it as his legacy.”

With around 220 employees at its Altham manufacturing and distribution facility and head offices, the health check is no small undertaking. Almost 80% of the workforce took up the offer and because the company runs on a shift system, manufacturing 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, it took a full five days to carry out all the checks.

“It ran like clockwork and was a credit to our staff members Jennifer Makin and Kelly Torson who organised and co-ordinated the whole thing,” Tony added. “This was the second time we’ve run the company health check since Aiden passed away and we plan to repeat it every two years. We also get a lot of positive feedback from our staff, who get a real sense of wellbeing and reassurance. It’s a very worthwhile process and I would recommend other companies who value their workforce to consider something similar.”

What More UK Ltd produces a wide range of plastic housewares and metal bakeware at its Altham facility, sold under the Wham brand. With more than 650 product lines, it distributes to retailers across the UK and exports to around 65 countries worldwide, holding the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

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