The Minding Edam programme launched fully in October 2019, following an initial trial period that began in conjunction with Learning at Work Week in May 2019. The organisation-wide, optional initiative aims to promote a caring workplace culture.
Although Minding Edam strives to better all aspects of individual wellbeing, the programme has a specific focus on mental health. This is to ensure that staff are equipped to deal with the distressing calls from motorists that form part of their job, as well as to align with Edam Group’s organisational values: innovation, respect, integrity, passion and fun.
Minding Edam includes a calendar of events and workshops, compiled using staff feedback gathered in October 2018 via an in-house survey and the Best Companies questionnaire.
Activities featured on the programme’s calendar will include Pilates classes, lunchtime meditation sessions, cycling, monthly netball and fitness classes, a media club and weekly brain teasers, where winning employees can receive a box of chocolates. The organisation also hosts a jigsaw corner, mindful colouring area and a ‘chatty natter’ conversation table.
Edam Group has additionally trained six mental health first aiders, based across the organisation’s head office and depots. The staff volunteers were recruited in May 2019, as part of the programme’s pilot, trained in July 2019 and were officially implemented in August 2019. This aligns with work Edam Group undertook with local charity Manchester Mind in September 2018, training managers and offering personal resilience guidance to all staff.
Steve Turner (pictured), chief executive officer at Edam Group, said: “The benefits of continual learning and development create an overwhelmingly positive impact, for the individual, for the team and for the business overall. We are delighted to create a permanent place for the programme within the [organisation] as we continually work to reinforce our commitment to our people and their wellbeing.”