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More support for the wellbeing of workers as 50 firms gain official accreditation

Published: Friday 08 Oct 2021

The wellbeing of hundreds of employees across the region have been put to the forefront - thanks to employers taking part in the Thrive at Work programme.

The West Midlands Combined Authority's (WMCA) scheme officially recognises companies for actively promoting their employees' health and wellbeing.

Judi Wood, IM Group’s Director of CSR

Judi Wood, IM Group’s Director of CSR

The WMCA has just announced that 50 local organisations have been accredited with either Foundation or Bronze level of Thrive at Work. The announcement coincides with Mental Health Awareness Day this Sunday (10 October).

Now the WMCA is calling for more employers to join the 460 businesses across the Midlands and beyond who have signed up for the free programme. Thrive at Work has four levels of accreditation, starting at the Foundation level and progressing on to Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: We take the mental health of workers across the West Midlands incredibly seriously, which is why we launched our Thrive at Work programme. It is really encouraging that 50 accreditations at either Foundation or Bronze level have been achieved, but we want to be handing out more accreditations to more businesses.

That's why I am encouraging all those businesses across the region who aren't already signed up to get involved to help support and improve the mental health of both employees and their employers. By investing a small amount of time in wellbeing, businesses will reap the benefit of a happier, healthier workforce

Thrive at Work is part funded through the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot across the Midlands Engine and the foundation level programme was introduced a year ago to help organisations start the accreditation process. It demonstrates they are committed to the health and wellbeing of their staff, and the benefits it can bring.

Those that have just become accredited with Bronze include Solihull-based IM Group - an internationally-renowned family-owned business which operates in the automotive, property and finance sectors and employs around 500 staff across the world.

Judi Wood, IM Group's director of CSR, said: The Thrive bronze award is the next step in future proofing our business after we moved into our new offices which were designed with employee wellness at the core. The accreditation gave us a framework to help improve further, to ensure that we are listening harder to and acting upon the feedback of our teams, to improve what we are already doing and delivering in terms of overall wellness.

We aim to give our employees opportunity to care for their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Covid has had an impact in so many different ways and increasingly it's understood that happy employees are more productive and therefore as a value led, family business we have always sought to look after people within the company, alongside giving something back to the communities in which we operate.

We've learnt a lot over the past 18 months going through the Thrive process and it is great we've got some external recognition of what we do across the various initiatives we run. This varies from standing desks and a variety of supportive chairs for everyone, to walking meetings, Pilates classes, healthy food options and trained mental health supporters and resources.

We're going to continue towards the Silver and ultimately aim to achieve the Gold level

Following its five-step format Thrive at Work allows senior managers to build a clear understanding of their company's current health and wellbeing provision. This provides the starting point to help them create an action plan to improve their current offering.

Employers who achieve accreditation can display a Thrive at Work logo to demonstrate their level of commitment to improving the mental health and wellbeing of their employees.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, WMCA portfolio lead for Wellbeing and leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: As one of the largest employers in Warwickshire, one of our main objectives as an organisation is to better understand our staff and provide them with relevant services and resources to help with their mental health and wellbeing

Just like the Council, I hope these 50 new accreditations inspire other organisations to sign up for the free Thrive at Work programme which will help boost the mental health and wellbeing of their employees and in turn help their businesses grow

Later this month the Thrive Awards event will recognise the milestone of 50 new accreditations.

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