Last reviewed on 24/01/2013 14:25

The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives helped Intelenet to reduce sickness absence, lower accident rates, and increase productivity.

Quick links:

Our productivity has risen, and so has the quality or our work

Angela McLachlan
- Operations Manager






Angela McLachlan is operations manager at Intelenet, which has a contact centre in Fort William employing 63 members of staff. The company was experiencing high levels of sickness absence, and approached Healthy Working Lives for help.

‘Our sickness levels and our attrition levels were quite high,’ Angela says.

‘We wanted to try to understand the link between our sickness absence levels and people’s lifestyles. Healthy Working Lives enabled us to do that.’

Reduced sickness absence

The sickness absence levels at Intelenet in 2008-09 averaged 6.8 per cent, with a peak rate of 11.1 per cent. Since working with Healthy Working Lives, the average yearly absence rate has dropped to 3.8 per cent.

To achieve this, Intelenet introduced a number of health initiatives for its staff:

  • interactive learning sessions looking at reasons for sickness absence and how to reduce it
  • health information campaigns
  • fun activities to combat stress in the workplace
  • health and safety campaigns.

‘Reducing sickness absence was our main goal,’ says Angela, and goes on to point out the benefits this has had for the business.

‘A lower absence rate reduces the impact on the people who are there actually doing the job,’ she says.

Reduced costs

High levels of sickness absence can have serious financial consequences for a business. Lost revenue, company sick pay and disruption to everyday business can add up to large sums of money. Intelenet has been able to make substantial savings.

The company has also saved money thanks to reduced attrition levels. Healthy Working Lives has helped with staff retention, and the staff turnover rate now sits at around half of what it was before the programme was introduced.

Experienced staff can provide a better service, and Intelenet is spared the cost of training large numbers of new staff.

Increased productivity

‘Because people are a lot happier in their jobs now, our productivity has risen, and so has the quality or our work,’ says Angela.

Intelenet has seen a marked increase in the number of callers it is able to deal with, which means that the business is more efficient.

‘We measure productivity by looking at the number of calls we deal with, by looking at the handle time and also by letter rate – the number of letters that we send out. We also measure the quality of our work.’ ‘The quality of our service has improved tremendously,’ says Angela.

Reduced incident and accident rate

Intelenet has been able to apply the lessons that it has learned from Healthy Working Lives at other sites, with impressive results.

“Because there’s no Healthy Working Lives in England, I’ve passed on a lot of the learning, and shared it with our Plymouth team.’

‘They’ve seen a reduction in their sickness absence levels too, and more noticeably in their incident and accident rate. This has reduced as a company overall.’

The incident and accident rate at Intelenet has halved, as people have become more aware of their responsibilities and the impact of their actions.

Lessons learned

At first, Angela and her colleagues were worried that Healthy Working Lives might demand a lot of their time. In practice, they found it quick and easy to implement, and the work they did had a big impact on the business.

‘I was concerned that it was going to be time consuming, but it really wasn’t at all. There’s minimal impact on the team, but there are a lot of benefits,’ Angela concludes.

Angela McLachlan
Operations Manager
Intelenet UK Services Ltd
FirstInfo Building
Glen Nevis Business Park
Fort William
PH33 6RX


back to top