Case study: Getting fit for work
As part of its 2016 Quality of Working Life research, CMI spoke to Loopdynamic HR and operations manager Katy Garnell to found out how the headhunter is using a passion for the gym to drive employee wellbeingCMI team
Loopdynamic is a small, European technology headhunting business in London with around 30 employees. It’s young and it’s fast-paced. Employees have daily KPIs that need to be met and they are expected to deliver.
HR and operations manager Katy Garnell said: “Like other recruitment businesses, we’re no different in that respect. But we know that that the traditional way of working – everyone in their own little pods talking on the phone without interacting – doesn’t work.”
So Loopdynamic are doing things differently.
From the very beginning in 2011 the company has focused on integrating fitness and wellbeing in the company strategy. This is how it became part of the DNA of the business.
Because the company is small, employee health and wellbeing is easy to shape into what its people want. Where some companies would encourage its employees to move around the office, Loopdynamic have taken it to the next level strongly emphasising physical fitness both within and outside the sales floor.
“Healthy body; healthy mind. Exercise produces endorphins, reduces stress and improves energy,” Garnell said. “And that’s the sort of thing we want our guys to have in the fast-paced and high-pressured environment they work in.”
Employees are encouraged to include gym time in their working day – everyone is offered a corporate membership at a local gym. If they go at lunch time, they get a 90 minute lunch break – instead of the customary hour.
Often a whole group of colleagues will go together.
“When they get back, you can really tell the difference,” Garnell said. “When they’re making their calls they’re energised, which increases their productivity. It shows in their stats and KPIs we track. You can clearly see the productivity levels go up after lunch.”
Trust is important in order to make this work. Knowing the impact that exercise has on their people, managers trust them to use it to their advantage. They encourage employees to understand what works best for them and empower them to do what helps them perform at their best.
This mentality has a great impact on internal relationships: it makes for open communication and a non-hierarchical structure.
Garnell said: “I’m a part-time personal trainer and the managing director is a regular attendee in my classes. In spin class I’m the boss, but back at work it’s back to business.”
“For Loopdynamic the current formula – of offering access to the gym and health, wellbeing and nutritional advice – works. Absence levels are low and energy levels are high. That’s exactly what you need in this business.”