West Midlands-based A&M EDM
, a precision engineering company, is one of the first UK manufacturers to achieve the Thrive at Work accreditation for improving employee health and wellbeing.
The company specialises in the rapid manufacture of high-value, low-volume components and precision tooling for automotive, aerospace, Formula One, 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 a 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 Russel, 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 all the boxes and its 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.”
Mr Wingfield concluded: “The pilot was just the beginning; we will continue improving our wellbeing processes as we grow. Thrive helped us bounce back from Covid-19 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.”