North East Connected

Smiling happy people power – How can we create a happier more productive workforce

The most important part of our business, indeed any business, is the people behind it.

They make us tick, they keep us going and, quite literally in Northumbrian Water’s case, they keep the water flowing.

Looking after our people and making sure they are safe, healthy and happy is a priority for us and one of our core values as a company.

Thankfully most successful businesses think along the same lines and really value their people.

But if that is the case, then why do we constantly hear stories in the media about people being overworked, feeling undervalued and suffering from stress and mental illness as a result of their job?

The ‘Happy, healthy employees’ sprint at Northumbrian Water Group’s Innovation Festival will set the challenge to some of the most innovative players from UK business to explore these issues and come up with solutions to help create a happier, healthier and safer workforce.

The sprint will use information gathered from research studies and apply leading-edge technology to analyse the data and come up with possible solutions to help improve peoples’ lives.

John Aloy, Managing Partner – National Infrastructure & Passenger Services, from O2 said:”Here at O2 we strongly believe in ensuring work is something that you want to do, not something you have to do.  Happy, healthy employees not only work harder for you, they are far more creative in their thinking and are the reason we deliver such outstanding experiences for our customers. 

“When offered the opportunity to run a sprint for this event we knew from the outset that we wanted to do something that would be focused on people and their experiences, which is why this one really came to life with the team. 

“From our very first interactions with NWG we knew that this was an organisation that shared our core values and were going to be a partner we could really engage with.  The way our teams have aligned together has been truly inspirational and I hope this sprint will allow them to really understand the power of what their people can do when truly unleashed! I can’t wait to see the outcomes, can you?”

NWG Head of people transformation Lynn Perry said: “We have a real mixed and diverse workforce here at NWG ranging from desk-based people to those operating heavy machinery and with very labour-intensive roles.

“Regardless of where people work though, their happiness, safety and wellbeing are paramount for us.

“When people have great experiences at work, are happily and healthy, they are able to provide unrivalled experiences to our customers.  The less time people spend off unwell or injured, the more productive we are as an organisation. So the incentive for businesses to really crack this issue is there, it’s just a case of us applying innovation to the problem and seeing what solutions we can come up with.

“We’ve thought about the happiness and wellbeing of everyone coming along to the festival too and created a wellbeing programme over the entire week.”

Mindfulness and wellbeing sessions will be held throughout the festival where people can break out of the sprint sessions for some down time, whether that be through a walking challenge, health and hydration checks, building new connections and having fun or simply having a refreshing glass of water at the water bar.

To find out what the ‘Happy, healthy, safe employees’ sprint team comes up with during the festival you can follow all of the action live on social media by following @northumbrianh2o on twitter and facebook or by visiting


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