Staffordshire company Acacia Training has joined forces with the creators of a revolutionary new programme to improve mental health in the UK workforce.
The Trentham-based firm has become the official training partner for Wellonomics, a new online assessment tool devised to monitor and support wellbeing in the workplace. Acacia Training was the first in the UK to pilot the programme with its own employees, and has now teamed up with the platform’s developers, management consultancy Grasp The Nettle, to become the sole training provider of the programme as it is rolled out nationwide.
Wellonomics enables employers to carry out individual wellbeing assessments online. While individual responses are completely confidential and can only be viewed by the participant, the organisation’s overall results are aggregated to give employers a valuable insight into how their teams are feeling.
Victoria Sylvester, director at Acacia Training, comments: “The wellbeing of our team is extremely important to us, especially as we provide workplace mental health training to a wide range of organisations to help them support their own staff. I think Wellonomics is great because it is anonymous, so employees can be open and honest about how they’re feeling and each month we look at the up-to-date data at board level to discuss current issues.
“We’ve had a 100 per cent employee engagement rate and we’re already seeing clear benefits. For example, staff told us that they were checking emails late at night, so we’ve now put measures in place where we have a cut-off point for sending emails. We learned that some teams were feeling out of the loop on communications, so we set up a chat group to keep people informed. They’re only small changes but they’re making a big difference.”
The impact on its own workforce has been so positive, the company is now rolling it out to its learners to understand and improve their experience. For example, if feedback is that they are short on time, it will ask tutors to prioritise this and provide helpful information on time management. It has also formed an alliance with Grasp the Nettle to roll Wellonomics out nationwide, with Acacia Training providing wellbeing modules and support linked to the software. This ensures the results are used to create positive change and helps line managers to develop the skills they need to improve the mental health of their teams.
Victoria added: “We’re really looking forward to working in partnership with Wellonomics to improve employee wellbeing. Mental health in the workplace is so important – a healthy, happy workforce helps employers to retain staff, reduce sickness and increase productivity.”
Co-Founder of Grasp the Nettle, Peter Yates-Round, said: “Many staff surveys, which often have low engagement rates and data which rapidly becomes outdated, are no longer fit for purpose. Wellonomics offers an antidote by providing a responsive, intuitive way to help leaders identify trends within their business. It gives employees an easy, confidential way to have their say and employers the tools they need to easily identify and implement change.
He added: “We are incredibly excited about our alliance with Acacia Training and our future plans to work together to lower staff attrition, increase productivity and create a happy and engaged UK workforce. Wellonomics is unique in that it protects employee confidentiality and provides leaders with up-to-the-minute feedback on how their teams are feeling. We were delighted to see how well it has been received at Acacia Training and now we’re looking forward to introducing it to business leaders in all sectors so that they – and their employees – can benefit.”