This month, for the Metrostress blog we talked to our boss and founder, Bill Dove.
Tell us about yourself, background, etc.
For many years I worked in education, I was a primary school headteacher for nearly 9 years in Stockport and, due to a reorganisation, I was offered redundancy. At that point, I decided to retrain as a physical therapist doing sports massage, mainly gyms and sports clubs, with occasional individual clients. And then things took a turn for the better when I was approached by Richer Sounds (the hi-fi people), to go into their premises one Friday to massage their staff to say thank you for working so hard.
What inspired you to start Metrostress?
Probably because in my previous life as a headteacher I was really stressed with pressures coming from all angles: the governors, church, LEA, government, parents, teachers, children, and my partner!
How does Metrostress make a difference in workplaces?
We’re always looking for companies who actually care about their employees, so it’s a way for them to show their employees that they care. Rather than just providing a bowl of fruit on a Friday, or having a policy for wellbeing which means absolutely nothing, they’re actually giving their time to the staff.
The reason for Metrostress’s creation was highlighted, ironically, by a company that stopped using us. They had a new CEO who came in, at this point we’d been working with them for years. She decided that people having a massage were having two benefits. They were getting a massage and time away from their desk which to use her words, wasn’t fair on the others, those who decided that they didn’t want a massage.
How many therapists do you have working with you?
8 at the moment with another one to start shortly. They are all self-employed experts because we cover a wider area now. Originally we only had one person in the Liverpool area. We now have 3!
What do you hope to achieve?
It’s actually put into practice what a lot of people say about wellbeing! They talk about wellbeing doing something and doing this is actually proving it.
What is your best experience with Metrostress?
I think the best experience was going into a company called Angel Solutions in Liverpool. They had put on an event for teachers because they work with schools. We had 4 of my guys there working for 3 hours non stop. The remarks from everyone, the staff, visitors, delegates everybody were just so heartwarming really.
Do you feel that the world has become a more stressful place?
Most definitely. Everybody talks about Brexit but to me, that is only a little chip really. There’s an awful lot of thinking about ourselves, it’s all about being selfish. We’re not thinking about anyone else, just ourselves. After moving forward for quite a while, businesses tend to go backward in their attitudes, back to the Victorian days where the manager can say something nice about you but he’s only doing it for one reason.
If you could change one thing in today’s corporate workplace, what would it be?
Only one thing!? To tell bosses to care about their employees, really, really care about their employees, not to expect too much from them. Not wrecking their health and putting stress on them not just in the workplace but from home.