About Cordell Health

Delivering value in occupational health practice through effective leadership

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Dr Robin Cordell MBA FRCP FFOM

The value of what a business can deliver is important in every sector. It affects how much you can charge and vitally, how much you can make in return. For some sectors, it’s a monetary equation where costs of supply and demand are linked with a return on investment. For other sectors, the value is not always tangible, there isn’t a ‘product’ to buy and sell. These sectors, of which occupational health is one, are governed by the perspective of the people the services are delivered to, and the value of what they receive in return. 

At Cordell Health, we work hard to deliver ‘value’ to our clients, the individual employers that we see, the owners of our business and also importantly, the wider society that we can support.

For our clients, we offer value by understanding their needs with a timely communication of facts, which are not only evidence-based but also contextually relevant for the business. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and it’s not just about delivering assessments and reports to agreed performance indicators. We provide evidence-based advice that can make a visible difference to the ‘bottom line’ when dealing with the issues resulting from the impact of ‘work on health’ or ‘health on work’. 

For employees the value comes from a conversation, treating individuals fairly, impartially and courteously. We set a structured and efficient framework so we can ensure they are listened to and that those difficult issues or potential “elephants in the room”, can explore them through an honest conversation. We can then provide advice on how they may be able to improve their health.

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Our owners see value through profit, sought through careful consideration of all the elements of the value chain (first described by Michael Porter in his 1985 book on competitive advantage).  Having efficient processes, the right resources and a product of the required quality and price drives the profit.

In our business model, this allows us to reinvest in our own social enterprise and create a framework to support those businesses and employees who couldn’t otherwise afford access to our expertise. The more we grow, the more we can give and the value chain means we can we can fulfil our social mission and deliver value more broadly in society too. 

Our ‘product’ is people; they are the ones who deliver value to clients, their employees and our owners. Undoubtedly, they are our most important asset and it is essential that we recruit people with the right skills. These can be honed through training to best meet the needs of the paying client, and retained by motivating them to stay. 

This is where effective leadership skills at a management level are critical. Without those, no business can truly deliver value. We insist our leaders understand the industry within which we operate, its competitive forces, business processes and have effective management skills. Only then can they provide the high-level communications we require to support our staff, our clients and the right business decisions being made.

Through leveraging efficient management and effective leadership we are able to engage with our clients at any level, from HR to senior leadership teams. This feeds down to the skills of our people and the value they provide to our client's organisations, and society in general, by encouraging cultures where all feel valued, including those with health conditions and disabilities. 

We’d be interested to hear how you feel occupational health adds value to your business and how you measure its success if it’s not through ROI? 

Employee Interview - Nikki Cordell

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This week we start the first of a series of blog posts featuring our greatest asset ... our employees! We hope you enjoy reading this small insight into our work, our passions and our inspirations.

First off the post is Nikki Cordell

What is your role at Cordell Health?

I am the managing director and consultant occupational physician responsible for delivering specialist case management services to our direct HR clients and more technical contracts.

How did you come to start the business?

After working as a contractor and experiencing a number of different occupational health models, I wanted to look at delivering occupational health differently. My husband had similar feelings and we started up Cordell Health. We are a social enterprise and our aim is to raise awareness of disability in the workplace, as well as deliver evidence-based occupational health services that can be integrated into an organisation’s people strategy whenever possible.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love the variety and the impact you can have both on businesses and individuals to help them understand their capabilities and realise their potential, even when they have a significant health problem.

Can you think of 3 words to describe Cordell Health?

For our clients - innovative.

For their employees  - compassionate.

For our staff - inclusive.

What do you like to do outside work?

I love to spend time outdoors! Whether it be enjoying the countryside, walking next to the canal near our home in Wiltshire or skiing in the Haute Savoie. 

Tell us about who you would most like to meet (dead or alive)?

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Oh, definitely the Dali Lama.  No matter what challenges I am facing I have always found inspiration in his writings and perspective on the world.

What does true leadership mean to you?

Inspiring and enabling others to reach their potential.

What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career in Occupational Health?

Being an Occupational Health professional gives you the potential to make an enormous difference to businesses and their people. In order to be successful, you need to have a good understanding of all the different aspects of the workplace. My advice to someone considering a career would be to find an employer or training organisation, that provides you with many opportunities to learn in as many different situations and businesses as possible.

What 3 things would you take to a desert island with you?

A radio to keep in touch with events in the world. Writing implements to allow me to write the novel that I have always wanted to write and a fine bottle of wine to savour at sunset.

What’s on your wish list for Cordell Health in the next 10 years?  

To develop even more innovative ways to help businesses look after the health and wellbeing of their employees and to deliver a social message which changes the cultural norm of businesses and enables them to value their biggest asset – their people!