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BT staff tucking in
10 NEWS
Recipes for success
Two of the UK’s best known companies believe
people to discover the
exchanging treasured family recipes could hold the
richness of different
key to developing greater cultural awareness and
cultures that exist
across our global
diversity within organisations.
business".
BT and AXA PPP healthcare have both taken part in a unique scheme,
AXA PPP healthcare
pioneered by community recipe website MyDish.co.uk, that aims to
Engagement Director,
break down barriers by encouraging staff to not only talk about their
Mark Moorton,
favourite recipes, but to share the stories behind those dishes.
believes the scheme will have a huge impact on staff relations: “The
scheme is a great way to celebrate the richness and diversity within
The new initiative involves the creation of a community website
our company. It’s also a great way for staff to share recipes, hints and
dedicated to food within each organisation. Hailed as the ultimate
tips about healthy eating, which of course is at the core of our
team building tool, the website allows staff to better understand their
business.”
colleagues through what they eat, and build relationships with other
employees throughout the world.
Increasing interaction between employees, over meals or at any other
time during the working day, can produce even more significant
As part of the programme, MyDish.co.uk also organise food social
benefits. Stress levels at work are at risk of getting worse as a result of
events, ranging from company bake-offs to curry competitions, all
the tough times many businesses and their staffs are enduring.
aimed at increasing interaction between staff. Employees can also
The Shaw Trust, a national charity helping the disabled and
design their own personal recipe books, which are then professionally
disadvantaged into work, has launched an initiative aimed at helping
produced and can be used to raise money for charity.
businesses alleviate any mental health issues in the workplace via a
web site www.tacklementalhealth.org.uk.
Carol Savage, founder of MyDish.co.uk says “The idea behind the
project is that food is a great way to get people talking. Everyone has
Professor Cary L Cooper, CBE, Professor of Organisational Psychology
a recipe that holds a personal meaning for them, whether it reminds
and Health at Lancaster University comments: “Stress is the major
them of their mother’s cooking or their student days. We have seen
health problem affecting UK employees and can manifest itself in a
that sharing these stories brings people together from the most senior
host of mental symptoms such as loss of confidence, difficulty
level managers to temporary members of staff.”
concentrating, lack of interest in life and feelings of failure and
animosity towards others. With the multiple of pressures associated with
The project has been running in BT since September 2007 and was
the worsening state of the economy, it is more important than ever for
launched at AXA PPP healthcare this August.
employers to focus on creating a healthy working environment and
looking at the simple ways in which they can provide additional
Caroline Waters, Director of People & Policy at BT says "Food is a great
support for their workforce to help minimise stress levels.”
way to create a dialogue amongst and between different people.
Something as simple as sharing the different dishes we enjoy as part of
Sources:
our family, culture or religious traditions is a great way of getting to
www.mydish.co.uk
know more about each others’ customs and backgrounds. At BT, we
The Shaw Trust
believe exploring the world of food through MyDish encourages
www.shaw-trust.org.uk and www.tacklementalhealth.co.uk
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