Promoting positive mental wellbeing at ACCA

Discover how we worked with ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) to help them support mental wellbeing across their workforce.

“The wellbeing of our teams is essential when it comes to being there for our members. The support available to them must be both known and accessible”.

Vicki Boyton, Inclusion and Engagement Manager, ACCA

Who are ACCA?

A global body for professional accountants, with over 233,000 fully qualified members. Their teams are out there every day, connecting with businesses large and small, governments, educational establishments and opinion formers, shaping the global accountancy profession.

ACCA relies on a diverse global workforce in order to deliver its strategy:

  • 110 offices and centres in 51 countries.
  • 1,404 full-time employees.

ACCA’s vision

Wellbeing - key to successful change

ACCA’s bold strategic vision is to be #1 in developing the accountancy profession the world needs. This has meant organisational change to increase effectiveness and agility. To best support their teams through a period of uncertainty and disruption, they wanted to take a proactive approach to promoting positive wellbeing.  

A company review highlighted priority areas including: 

  1. Long term absence.
  2. Mental health including stress, anxiety and depression.
  3. Financial education.

“No one should suffer in silence. They should be confident there’s support out there and for it to be at their fingertips.”

Vicki Boyton, Inclusion and Engagement Manager, ACCA

Working with AXA Health

A focus on health and early support

Starting back in 2018, together with AXA Health, ACCA set about ensuring teams felt more open to discuss their health and better informed on the routes to the support they had available. 

Benchmarks would include a stronger awareness and engagement from their workforce in accessing and using their EAP service. But above all, with early help and support the plan was to improve prevention around the onset of stress, anxiety and depression - helping resolve issues before they became complex.

Together we engaged key stakeholder groups within the organisation, who were upskilled on their knowledge of the EAP service and included managers, HR and Wellbeing Champions. This in turn would ensure an effective comms plan was well supported. 

ACCA delivered coffee morning sessions, drop-ins and lockdown check-ins to the whole workforce.

They proactively used AXA Health's Health & Wellbeing calendar for continued year-round health and wellbeing engagement.

AXA Health webinars on topics such as men's health, women's health, menopause, sleep, a day in the life of your working body and developing a mental health toolkit were run and well received.

Wellbeing champions and Mental Health First Aiders used their enhanced service understanding to confidently signpost employees to the EAP for guidance and support.

We also focused on their employees who have access to AXA Health Private Medical Insurance.

“AXA Health’s promotional resources have been relevant and resonated well with our teams, helping keep the support services front of mind too.” 

Vicki Boyton, Inclusion and Engagement Manager, ACCA

Building on success

Building on success, gaining momentum,
and adapting to COVID-19

To further support mental wellness and help identify vulnerable employees Mental Health First Aid training was made available to teams within the UK and internationally, building confidence and capability to support colleagues and act early. Refresher training retained knowledge, helping ACCA upweight a vital support network within its workforce.

In 2020, ACCA ran listening sessions and set up communities based on feedback from their employees. Wellbeing became part of a community called ‘Thrive’ ensuring the championing and progression of new ideas was owned by passionate individuals across the business.

A further two communities were set up called Embrace (LGBTQIA+) and Impact (Ethnicity) creating further collaboration and focus.

The communities allow employees to learn more about various cultures, ethnic groups and being part of creating a workplace where people feel comfortable to share experiences and celebrate diversity. 

To further support and help during this challenging period AXA Health’s EAP service was extended to 482 staff who work internationally, to ensure they also benefitted from access to counselling and life management support.

ACCA extended their mental wellbeing training to managers to spot the signs of stress, build resilience and create a better balance with work/home life.  Earlier this year, ACCA, along with a third-party provider, ran online sessions called “Be Your Best Self” all around mental health and resilience. EAP was an integral part of the continuing support message.

To target the financial education challenge, ACCA worked with another third-party to deliver Mental Wealth Training to their Mental Health First Aid network to educate and train them on financial health so that they were then able to support and signpost their colleagues to resources. Again, EAP service information and access details were communicated to attendees. 

“Our Account Manager, Helen, has also been instrumental in helping ACCA bring their UK and international EAP sections together so there is better collaboration and a more joined up, consistent approach.”

Vicki Boyton, Inclusion and Engagement Manager, ACCA

Next steps

ACCA will keep innovating to meet the needs of their workforce, strengthening their wellbeing strategy helping their teams to thrive and support future opportunities.

The training, education and communication has seen support services such as the EAP well utilised. With staff seeking early support and guidance seen to positively correlate with improved absence.

Next for ACCA is to build on this evidence-based approach, which will shape their future strategy. A progressive holistic wellbeing approach covering physical, mental, financial and social wellbeing will retain a key focus on mental health and resilience.

*ACCA October 2020 Employee Engagement Survey, response rate of 79%.

Percentage image.png

of employees said they were happy and would recommend ACCA as a great place to work*

EAP utilisation in 2019 was
above industry average

EAP itilisation in 2021 remains
above industry average

Workplace Savings and Benefits
2019 Winner
Best Healthcare and Wellbeing
Strategy of the Year


Supporting mental health in the workplace

Cultivating good mental health in the workplace makes good business sense. If you’d like to speak to someone about integrating mental health into your wellness strategy, we’re here to help. Speak to your account manager or visit our Employee Assistance Programme page.