BAE enlists CHANT Productions for workplace choir scheme

As part of its health and wellbeing strategy, BAE Systems has enlisted CHANT Productions to implement a workplace choir scheme.

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The two-year programme is designed to prevent people from being affected by ‘health affecting work’ and ‘work affecting health’ issues.

Mike Crompton, head of occupational health at BAE Systems Military Air and Information business said: “We are aware of how work  and the work environment, can affect an employee’s health and how an employee’s health can affect their ability to do their job.  It is clear that learning new skills such as choral singing can give a sense of achievement, new confidence and thereby positively impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.  Opening up creative thinking channels results in improved wellbeing for the individual and productivity for the company. “

An important point about our choir is that it has a mix of all singing abilities – everyone is welcome.  The choir breaks down barriers as there is no hierarchy.  Anyone can get involved from those who work directly building our military jets to senior managers.  It’s therefore been a great opportunity for real collaboration across work boundaries.

A survey of choir participants at the end of the first set of workshops had some clear messages.  Involvement has built focus and confidence, reduced stress and improved health, and left employees invigorated for an afternoon of work.

Sean Ruane, creative director of CHANT Productions said: “The singing is a vehicle to help more serious issues underlying in the workplace, so we promote teamwork and help to break down communications and hierarchical barriers.

“What we are doing with BAE Systems is quite unique. I’d read an article from Professor Mance York, who was a UCLan tutor, about his belonging study, which was based on the educational establishment, but I thought it was relevant to the workplace. So I took that and adapted it to the choir programme and surveyed the choir participants in workplaces. “It’s all about team building and bonding, taking them out of their comfort zone and on a journey. It’s then transferrable back in to their workplace, where we have reduced absenteeism and the number of stress-related absentees.”