June 5, 2020

How the John Lewis Partnership embedded a company-wide mental health strategy

June 5, 2020
Oliver Matejka
Brand and Comms Lead

John Lewis Partnership's story

Here's how the iconic retail business, whose internal wellbeing service predates the NHS itself, provides mental wellbeing support for its diverse and geographically distributed workforce, from delivery drivers to office workers.

The background

The John Lewis Partnership's employer brand is the envy of HR and business leaders across the land. Last year it was voted the UK’s most attractive employer, the year before that Indeed named it the 8th best private sector employer. Now it has set its sights on becoming Britain's Healthiest Workplace by 2025.

The challenge

John Lewis Partnership isn’t new to wellbeing – its internal health service predates the NHS itself. But to take its wellbeing strategy to the next level and hit the 2025 goal, it needed a proactive mental health solution, inclusive to their diverse and geographically dispersed workforce – whether they’re office-based, on the road, or in store.

The solution

The retail business identified Unmind as a unique, cost-effective and confidential provider of workplace mental health support. With a gold standard reputation for employee wellbeing dating back to 1929 to uphold, it was also attracted to the scientific rigour on which Unmind was built. It enabled John Lewis Partnership to:

  • Deliver proactive and preventative mental health support.
  • Give their entire workforce access to mental health support.
  • Measurably improve the mental wellbeing of its workforce.

Reaching remote workforces

While working environments differ from one group of Partners to the next, mental health is something we all have in common. So whether they’re delivering goods from lorries, assisting customers on the shop floor, operating forklifts in a warehouse, or answering customer queries in the office, Unmind is available to all 80,000 Partners.

The launch

Unmind was initially rolled out to a group of the John Lewis Partnership Wellbeing Champions to build momentum, anticipation and to gather feedback. All Partners were invited to a Google+ community group ahead of launch and received communications via email, webinar, and internal systems. The official launch event was hosted on the roof garden at John Lewis's flagship shop in Oxford Street, London.

The results

On the day of launch, hundreds of Partners signed up to Unmind. Within the first week, over a thousand registered. After one year of launch, over 8,000 Partners logged in to the platform.


Mental health support for all Partners

Importantly for the John Lewis Partnership, Unmind has been popular among their geographically dispersed workforce. Our Tools feature, which enables users to exercise their mental wellbeing on the go, has been used almost 52,000 times at a total of over 270,000 minutes by Partners across the country.


Want to learn more about workplace mental health? 

John Lewis Partnership is one of many companies, including ASOS, TSB and Just Eat, using Unmind to measurably improve the mental health of their workforces.