Ruth Bullock and Catherine Martin from CavanaghKelly are presented with the ‘Wellbeing in the Workplace – SME’ Award by Annette McManus, Group Marketing & Communications manager for The Irish News

Healthy and happy workforce drives success at CavanaghKelly

ACCOUNTANCY and business advisory business CavanaghKelly, which operates from offices in Dungannon, Omagh, Enniskillen and Belfast, has always placed a strong emphasis on the health and wellbeing of its 100-plus staff, recognising that a healthy and happy workforce will reflect in, and further drive, the success of the practice.

As a standard to staff it provides health insurance, a flexible working policy (enhanced during Covid to allow staff to meet family, home schooling and childcare commitments), emergency leave, free time allowance, vouchers to the Galgorm at Christmas, and even Friday lunchtime games sessions.

CavanaghKelly has a dedicated workplace wellbeing committee and departmental champions who design and drive initiatives across the practice, as well as fully trained mental and physical first-aiders at all its offices.

That committee has been integral in ensuring staff continued to feel supported during Covid, having organised virtual tea breaks and quizzes for staff when they were unable to see each other face to face. Since returning to the office the committee arranged summer seats and picnic tables for each office.

The group reinvigorated the company’s walking club, which meets every Tuesday and Thursday, and it is planning a number of other wellbeing initiatives including a charity cycle between its Dungannon, Omagh and Enniskillen offices (over 100 miles).

It regularly also arranges social events for staff and have had pizza vans for lunch and Mr Whippy provides ice creams during summer to actively encourage staff to take time away from their desks to relax.

It set out a clear five-year plan for people growth, which included investment in people, infrastructure and processes that would allow it to adapt and future-proof the business. Some of its initiatives and rewards are second to none in its sector

With women making up around 75 per cent of its 100 staff (the average age of its female workforce is 36), CavanaghKelly also identified menopause as one of the key challenges it faces, so has brought in leading medical professionals to its offices to educate staff directly on the symptoms and treatment of perimenopause, menopause and female-specific cancers.

The company understands that the positive recognition of others for high achievement, behaviours and attitudes is highly valued within the practice and positively impacts staffs’ wellbeing. Recognition from within the practice can range from receiving a simple thank-you, a flying lesson or a weekend in away in New York.

Its Reward and Recognition scheme was introduced in 2014 and has been a great success. Employees from every department and level are eligible to nominate and to be nominated at any time in the year and it previously held special events to recognise the staff members nominated by their peers.

The company says: “This year we wanted to thank our people for the grit, determination, teamwork and positive attitudes displayed over the last two years, so we treated all staff to a weekend in Berlin at the end of May, providing them with an opportunity to further cement their friendships and working relationships in an informal and exciting setting.”