How THG Implemented A Digital Mental Health Solution To Support Employee Wellbeing

THG SCH

THG is a digital, global ecommerce business that specialises in taking brands direct to consumers. It is home to a portfolio of world-leading brands in the Beauty and Nutrition sectors. THG’s best-in-class proprietary technology, THG Ingenuity, powers its own brands and retail websites while delivering rapid growth for third-party clients such as Nestle, Homebase and Elemis. The Company currently counts more than 10,000 employees across the globe. 

THG has a longstanding commitment to investing in its people and prioritising the health and wellbeing of its employees. In order to meet the increased demand for mental health support – particularly during the COVID pandemic – THG considered a range of options to add to its global employee wellbeing programme.

It partnered with SilverCloud Health to help it reach its highly diverse, global workforce, with evidence-based mental health programmes. Many of these are aimed at proactivity helping individuals to manage their own health and wellbeing.

This case study outlines why THG decided to invest in digital mental health, how they successfully encouraged take-up of the offering and what you can learn from THG’s experience.

Why it made sense to invest in digital mental health

THG recognises that it is of utmost importance to ensure that staff are properly supported, in line with its culture and values as a forward-thinking, innovative organisation.

It employs a diverse workforce with more than 10,000 employees. Staff operate across different time zones, as well as a range of disciplines, including operations and logistics, with the majority of the workforce being office-based.

THG’s staff healthcare and wellbeing programme already included on-site medical concierge, one to one medical care, on-site diagnostics, physical therapy and discounted gym membership. It was therefore looking to build on this existing strength.

Challenges

THG knew it needed a health and wellbeing offering that matched the increased scale and complexity of its organisation. The requirement for 24/7 access and convenience for staff was paramount. This meant they could provide for staff who work shifts and may not have been supported by existing health systems.

It was critical to ensure high levels of confidentiality and privacy. Once the SilverCloud platform was implemented, THG needed to raise awareness amongst staff of the benefits it could provide.

Approach

SilverCloud implemented the platform, allowing staff to access programmes at any time, from any device, as standalone tools. THG has rolled out the following programmes: Space from Stress, Space for Sleep, Space for Mindfulness, Space for Positive Body Image, Space from Money Worries, Space for Resilience, Space from Health Anxiety, Space from COVID-19, Space from Panic, Space for Perinatal Wellbeing, Space from Anxiety and Space from Depression.  

The SilverCloud platform provides employees with a focus on proactive support and early intervention – allowing THG to build momentum around mental health awareness, break down stigma and build more confidence to discuss mental health in the workplace.

THG chose a digital mental health solution ahead of a face-to-face option as it was more scalable, can be accessed 24/7 and felt more in line with its digital-first culture. In addition, SilverCloud was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic when, like many employees across the globe, THG staff were working remotely. They therefore needed a platform that allows for easy remote access and complements THG’s existing wellbeing support package.

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With the rollout of SilverCloud, THG used a ‘Champions’ model to promote the availability of the programmes, supported by THG’s team of HR staff and mental health first aiders. These teams acted as advocates for the platform, promoting its uptake and usage. The business also leveraged existing global internal communications channels, regular workplace opportunities, such as ‘lunch and learns’, and QR codes on posters around its sites.

Following a “seamless” implementation, as described by THG’s Group Medical Director, the company tracked the numbers of staff accessing the programmes and those contacting mental health first aiders, the in-house GP, HR teams and others to discuss their mental health.

Results

The implementation of the SilverCloud platform has received excellent feedback – 90% of users being positive or very positive about the programmes they used – and it is providing THG with a cost-effective, convenient option for its employees.

  • On average, each user is completing three modules and feedback is incredibly positive, with 90% of users supporting or strongly supporting the quality of the programmes.
  • Feedback from THG staff to the in-house GP and HR team has also been very positive.
  • Although cost was not the driver for this investment, the early results demonstrate that the SilverCloud online programmes have proved excellent value for money, especially when compared to the cost of face-to-face counselling resources, which would have lacked the scalability of the digital option.

Dr Matthew Leech, Group Medical Director, who is responsible for THG’s employee wellbeing programme, said:

As a forward-thinking company, we want a wellbeing programme to be proud of, with staff getting the best possible support when they need it. We wanted to find a partner who understood the priority we place on wellbeing at work. We got that with SilverCloud. There is something for everyone with the SilverCloud programmes: both proactive materials to help our staff to stay well and support if they are having problems. We went with SilverCloud because it has a deep evidence base and data to underpin its work but mostly because it is a solution that works.”

What can you learn from THG’s experience? 

The THG implementation of SilverCloud was successful as it fitted with a broader package of support for staff. The business also tracked the numbers of staff accessing the programmes and those contacting mental health first aiders, the in-house GP, HR teams and others to discuss their mental health.

This tracking allowed the organisation to tell a full story to staff about how mental health was being addressed, how the digital programmes were used, as well as the positive feedback which also encouraged further take up. 

Other ways to promote the successful take-up of these programmes include: 

  • Appoint a single point of contact in your organisation to work with SilverCloud and act as the day-to-day lead – this doesn’t need to be the CEO but someone (in THG’s case it was the Group’s Medical Director) who can speak passionately about the importance and value of the solution
  • Develop and implement a planned communications and engagement effort to use all existing channels to promote the solution to staff and work to reduce stigma and encourage usage – using personal stories and trusted internal voices can really help
  • Senior level sponsorship is needed – it is important that employees know this is coming from the top and that it has the CEO/Board-level support. This can often give people permission to engage, especially at busy times
  • Ensuring the solution can be accessed conveniently and confidentially for employees. This means staff can access the programmes in their own time and devices but also that no records of their interactions are shared with line managers

As you and your organisation considers how best to support your employees with mental health and wellbeing challenge, why not see if you can join THG in making a big difference to your workforce. Get in touch to arrange a free demo.

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