How ITV included Togetherall in a joined-up approach to wellbeing
July 01 2021
Supporting employees on different contracts
ITV is the oldest commercial television network in the UK. Since its creation in 1955, ITV’s brand is synonymous with award winning dramas, sport and reality television shows. With over 6,000 individuals in their employ, the HR team at ITV wanted to provide their workforce with a joined-up ecosystem of wellbeing benefits, including comprehensive mental health support.
They faced the challenge of having three different streams of employees to cater to when considering their wellbeing strategy:
- Corporate employees – office-based teams that work typical 9-5 hours within ITV plc. They have access to the full suite of benefits, including an EAP, as permanent employees.
- Transient population – these employees work on a freelance basis, with a need for a scalable option for mental health support that fulfils ITV’s duty of care.
- On-screen and production teams – similar to the transient population, flexibility is key when considering this team’s wellbeing. Risk is also a factor, as HR need to take into account any health and safety concerns when on location.
Although they have a robust offering of benefits for their permanent employee base, ITV felt they needed to meet a duty of care for these employees under different contracts, too.
Continuing peer-to-peer support
The HR Team at ITV found that, especially for the on-location teams, peer-to-peer support was important for their workforce’s mental health.
Employees remained connected with each other through WhatsApp groups, online forums and local intranets to avoid isolation for extended periods when on location and away from loved ones: “We have a great support network with people working away from home,” shared Amy Matthews, ITV’s Business Partner and Health and Safety Risk Manager. “Making sure they have a consistent support network is of the utmost importance to us.”
“Togetherall ticks a massive box for us, as it’s something we can offer the freelance workforce and carries on the ethos of peer-to-peer support that employees have naturally built up when on location.”
– Amy Matthews, Business Partner and Health and Safety Risk Manager, ITV plc
Clinically backed mental wellbeing
For ITV, mental wellbeing is at the core of the culture of wellbeing that they are building. This includes training mental health first-aiders to spot any signs of struggle and support any of their peers who may need it. However, the HR and Health & Safety teams wanted an extra level of support to supplement this and ensure the confidence of the mental health first-aiders.
“Mental health first aiders were concerned about signposting the correct resources if they found their colleagues were in distress,” Amy said. “They don’t have that medical specialist training, and don’t want to say the wrong things. With Togetherall, knowing that the platform is monitored professionally gives us peace of mind that behind the scenes, it is being managed for us.”
Togetherall’s platform also includes courses, resources and wellbeing tracking tools – journals and goal setters – that cater to different levels of need and act as a way of mitigating risk by enabling members to better understand their emotions and experiences. This makes it a great addition to ITV’s wellbeing offering, for employees who may not need talking therapies or direct intervention.
“There’s no one-size-fits all [with employee wellbeing] for the industry, or for ITV.”
– Amy Matthews, Business Partner and Health and Safety Risk Manager, ITV PLC
Since the beginning of Togetherall’s partnership in May of 2020, 449 employees have registered on the platform . With around 34% of ITV member logins happening outside of normal 9-5 hours – and 14% of that taking place between the hours of midnight and 9am – ITV employees have been able to connect with others or better understand how they’re feeling during times that they may not have access to traditional means of support.
The future of employee wellbeing at ITV
While ITV continues to utilise Togetherall as part of their wider wellbeing strategy, their focus rests on moving beyond siloes, training managers in recognising and mitigating risk when it comes to their teams’ health, and ensuring that communication of all policies is clear across the wider business.
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