Investing to transform the way you manage employee health and wellbeing

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Innovating in the employee and wellbeing sector

Businesses around the world have long struggled to control the impact of employee absence on cost and productivity. This was the problem that GoodShape, then known as FirstCare, sought to fix when it was founded in 2004 as one of the very first absence management companies to operate in the UK. However, the business has come to realise that dealing with absence as and when it occurs, is like treating symptoms, rather than the root cause of the problem. It is for this reason that the company relaunched in 2021 with a focus on improving employee wellbeing.

This redefined purpose has been facilitated and supported by MARCOL Health, which invested in the company five years ago and has since helped to drive GoodShape’s transformation from being simply an absence management company, to being an employee wellbeing and performance business. Since then, the company has evolved to become a leader in the employee wellbeing field, combining in-house multidisciplinary clinical expertise with the latest technology and the UK’s largest wellbeing database, to deliver the most impactful service to customers and employees.

GoodShape’s voice is a growing authority on employee wellbeing and performance. Its recent ‘Workforce health’ report indicated that mental health troubles were the number one cause of workplace absence in 2021, accounting for 19% of all lost working time across the country, even more than cases of Covid-19 which represented 16%. During the ‘pingdemic’, GoodShape’s proprietary data generated mainstream media headlines. Findings highlighting that the extent of absences owing to mental health illness in the NHS were so compelling that GoodShape was invited to provide expert evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group revealing the ongoing impact of the pandemic on NHS staff.

GoodShape recognises that employee wellbeing powers performance. As such, it should be top of the agenda for every decision-making board globally.

MARCOL Health has expanded GoodShape’s team of data scientists, refocused the business on its technological assets, provided sustained investment and offered strategic support.

“MARCOL Health has recognised what we are looking to achieve,” says Alun Baker, chief executive of GoodShape. “They have worked closely with the management team and me, to execute our vision and improve the focus and quality of support for employees across the world.”

GoodShape aims to unlock the power of technology in providing a totally holistic approach to employee wellbeing, using a telephone triage system supported by sophisticated software. The multidisciplinary in-house clinical team is on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make sure employees get the best care possible, thus minimising any time they need to take off due to illness. GoodShape currently works with a range of public sector organisations and private sector companies, ranging from FTSE 100 companies to NHS trusts. The service is unique in its high levels of employee engagement, at 70%, and utilisation of nurses and healthcare professionals to directly support employee wellbeing.

Ed Radkiewicz, chief executive of MARCOL Health says: “We have taken an active role in helping to scale this pioneering health and wellbeing service into a sophisticated platform capable of optimising workforces across private and public sector companies. We have sought to provide sustained capital investment, operational support and incisive strategic expertise to propel GoodShape forward. The company now has the infrastructure and the strategy to service increasingly large international customers. Working together with the executive team at GoodShape, we have continued to refine the business strategy and position it as a leader in the employee health and wellbeing space.”

For more information, please contact Ed Radkiewicz, chief executive of MARCOL Health on: [email protected]

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Ed Radkiewicz, chief executive, MARCOL Health

Ed joined MARCOL in 2015 with more than 20 years’ experience within the health sector across the UK and Europe, the US and North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Ed has built and managed several international healthcare businesses that included private-equity-backed operations in developed and emerging markets, as well as acquiring and integrating established companies across international regions. The health operations included care delivery, health technology and management, mental health, diagnostics and wellness. Prior to this he worked for the world’s largest healthcare business based in the US, UnitedHealth Group, where he led its Optum international health services and technology operation.

Alun Baker, GoodShape
Alun Baker, chief executive, GoodShape

Alun joined GoodShape as chief executive in 2021 to drive the growth and international expansion of the business and to further develop the proposition’s impact on enterprise health. In recent years, Alun has focused on scaling software-as-a-service businesses, both software and services, through hyper-growth, internationalisation and multiple funding rounds. His previous experience comprised management of a broad range of technology companies, including regional leadership at Oracle, Tibco software and Accenture, and as non-executive chairman of four fast-track companies.