Cisco partnered with Thomsons to implement a health and wellbeing scheme which reduced absence and stress-related illness and saved time on benefit related queries.

The challenge

Cisco is the world leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. As a culture, Cisco is very hard working. Like many high performing organisations there can be stress levels which can result in absence.

Cisco wanted to implement a scheme that would reduce the number of staff on long-term sick leave, tackle underlying causes of ill health such as poor sleep and nip underlying health issues in the bud before they led to absence.


The solution

  • Cisco partnered with Thomsons Online Benefits to implement a health and wellbeing scheme to reduce these problems. Innovative solutions were employed including:

  • Occupational Health (OH) strategy

  • Access to a ‘Best Doctors®’ service

  • Bupa medical cover

  • The Employee Assistance Programme

  • Company paid Bupa Health Assessments

  • Onsite ‘quick health checks’ and ‘online personal health assessment’

  • Manager awareness training

The result

There was a significant year-on-year reduction in absence with 100 staff taking advantage of the ‘Best Doctors®’ service. Alongside this, stress and sleep coaching helped reduce stress related sickness. Introducing the i-Benefit@Cisco portal and the dedicated helpline saved approximately 10% of Cisco’s UK HR Manager’s time spent on benefit related queries.

The biggest impact was from the company paid Bupa Health Assessment where employees either felt good about a clean bill of health, or discovered something potentially life changing and it could be dealt with immediately.

Rhiannon Spear

EMEA Benefits Manager

We were absolutely delighted to win the award for ‘Most effective sickness absence management strategy’ here at Cisco. We are very grateful to our partners, Thomsons Online Benefits, who enabled us  to launch the i-benefit@cisco portal which has been a tremendous success with our employees in the UK & Ireland.

The results? The numbers speak for themselves

Less employees took long-term sick leave, saving Cisco around £500,000

Employees viewed the i-Benefit video series

Employees took a health assessment

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