Engineers Thrive at Work

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A&M EDM is the first engineering company to be accredited on a new Midlands-based scheme aimed at improving employee health and wellbeing.

Thrive at Work is a free workplace wellbeing awards programme that is transforming workplaces around the Midlands, by boosting productivity and reducing staff sickness absence.

Employers that gain accreditation to Thrive at Work, are recognised among an esteemed network of organisations committed to excellence in employee mental health and wellbeing.

West Midlands based A&M EDM specialises in the rapid manufacture of high value, low volume components and precision tooling for automotive, aerospace, Formula 1, marine and other engineering sectors.

A&M participated in a West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Thrive at Work pilot to maximise workforce potential by reducing sickness absence, improving staff retention and increasing the productivity of happier, healthier staff.

Melvin Wingfield, A&M director said: "Thrive was the catalyst for A&M to enhance the wellbeing of our most valuable asset, our 70 employees. We have a traditional manufacturing workforce, who participated in activities to improve their awareness of mental health, healthy eating and exercise.”

A&M used the Thrive toolkit to raise staff awareness of mental, musculoskeletal and physical health and encourage healthy lifestyles through diet and exercise. The programme ran from 2019 into 2020 with extensive evidence gathered of staff engagement using discussions, online materials, newsletters, posters and sampling new diets and exercise for themselves. Initiatives included a new staff forum, an in-house gym and access to a confidential mental health counselling service.

Sean Russell Head of Thrive at WMCA said: "We wanted Thrive at Work to target manufacturing SMEs, with a majority older male workforce and a traditional working-class culture, which could be resistant to change. We knew this type of business would be the most difficult culture to influence and yet we believed would benefit the most from our programme.”

"A&M EDM ticked these boxes and their director Melvin Wingfield could see the benefits of Thrive at Work. It is to his credit and the organisation’s that they have succeeded in achieving the Bronze Level Thrive Award; challenging and changing the existing culture, refining processes to respond flexibly to the needs of their employees and seeing lives impacted positively as a result. This is a great achievement.”

Melvin Wingfield again, "The pilot was just the beginning; we will continue improving our wellbeing processes as we grow. Thrive helped us bounce back from Covid with staff working flexibly to continue production during the lockdowns. We want our employees to recognise that the company will support them to develop their wellbeing.”

Photo – L to R Director Melvin Wingfield, with Neil Slim, Naomi Tudor & Callum Bowen celebrating the Thrive award