Case Study: A small programme with a big impact
In a post-pandemic world, where mental health issues have risen considerably on a global scale, investing in the mental health and well-being of employees has become increasingly significant for businesses and organisations.
Year awarded 2021
Size 178 employees
Sector Education & training
training centres delivering courses for 16-19 year-olds
% of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds
% of employees feeling more engaged
% of attendees went onto further mental health training
Recognising the need for change
MPCT recognised the need to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of its employees during the Covid pandemic. The independent training provider has 35 centres providing courses for 16-19-year-old, with 78% of its business through Military Preparation College and 57% of learners coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Following a shift to virtual delivery as a response to Covid measures, MPCT found that 98% of its managers felt ill-equipped to deal with the well-being needs of their staff.
Making a big impact
MPCT’s response was to implement a high-quality training programme focused on upskilling managers to support their staff’s mental wellbeing needs, supported by an updated wellbeing strategy, embedding a new approach to mental health in the workplace culture. The four-hour training was delivered remotely to nineteen managers.
Whilst the programme was small in size and cost, it has had a significant impact on the company. Donna Briggs, Director of HR, stated: “When we looked at the Princess Royal Training Award, I wasn’t sure it was enough with our little training programme, but it was about the difference that it has had. I hope our case will encourage other people to move forward with it and to apply as well”.
100% of managers who attended the course have reported being more confident in discussing mental health with their staff, and a trickle-down effect has been noted, with employees as a whole becoming more confident in talking about mental wellbeing with the learners.
The impact of the programme is also evident through a reduction in the referral of wellbeing issues to HR, a decrease in staff sickness rates to 0.24% in 2020 from 0.92% the previous year, a 12% lower rate of staff turnover and 93% of employees feeling more engaged and supported.
Evaluation of the programme further resulted in the creation and production of a wellbeing booklet for students and their parents which is available on the MPCT website, mailed directly to parents and available through their parent App.
An embedded approach
The launch of a wellbeing policy and action plans coincided with the training and provided the catalyst for a culture change within the organisation.
Mental health is now a subject discussed more openly within the organisation and as the Deputy CEO explained, “it’s changed the culture into a listening culture”.
Regular activities have been introduced to raise the profile of mental health and there is a continuous focus on developments in mental health training. 70% of attendees went on to attend suicide awareness training and mental health first aider training has also been introduced.
“The point is that it has made a difference and this is going to continue to make a difference”
Donna Briggs, Director of HR
Extending the reach of the programme
Having recently been acquired by The Learning Curve Group (LCG), the value of MPCT’s training programme is being further illustrated through its rollout across the whole company, reaching over 800 employees.
The training programme is being developed and tailored to specific industries within the LCG, including the hairdressing and construction industries, broadening its reach across the company.
Beyond the organisation, Briggs highlighted the importance of the Princess Royal Training Award for MPCT in helping to share best practice to shape training for others. She explained that not only has the programme and Award been about making a difference to their young learners, but it is about “letting other people know what we do and sharing our materials so as many people as possible are equipped with knowledge and can go on to support others.”