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10 Aug 2022
by Dawn Lewis

Entain's journey to build global engagement with employee wellbeing

Three years into its health and wellbeing programme, Entain one of the world's largest sports betting and gaming groups, has achieved significant engagement with its offering across its global business. Here we speak with Stella Gavinho, group head of wellbeing, and Jessica Tebbell, wellbeing manager at Entain about their journey so far.

Building global engagement with employee wellbeing at Entain.jpg


Entain’s wellbeing programme is divided into three sections: Think-well, Live-well, and Work-well, and has been delivered over the past three years. The team began with Think-well because their data at the time told them there was demand for mental health interventions. Now it is the most mature area of their wellbeing strategy.

Talking and taking action

For Think-well, the team took a two-pronged approach: first to build psychological safety by encouraging employees to open up about their mental health, and providing training to line managers. And second, delivering tools and services to support those who open up about their mental health. 

“We did a number of things that worked really well for us,” explains Gavinho. “We did several campaigns, such as: It's okay not to be okay; how do you support yourself; how do you support others. We want to build a culture of psychological safety within the organisation where people can talk about problems without fear.”

“We also trained line managers, and that helped them to help their teams have good conversations about mental wellbeing. Managers are not meant to be psychologists or counsellors, but they are expected to be able to listen in the right way, ask the right questions and signpost to the supporting tools that we have. The foundation knowledge of having good conversations with line managers is very important to us.” 

The tools that support these conversations are also designed with the way that people feel in mind. They’re divided into three categories: Thriving, struggling, ill. 

“We categorised our resources and tools under those three pillars to make sure that we offer something, wherever you are in that spectrum, and everyone has the same access to the support and services. We rolled this out to everyone in the organisation, which is 30,000 people globally,” added Gavinho.

Leveraging engagement

To maintain and improve engagement with their wellbeing programme they cover a different wellbeing topic each month, and try to be as engaging with this as possible. 

“It's not just static information in a blog, we always have an engagement activity, such as training or a talk with an expert, doing a challenge, a webinar, or a competition, we always try to bring it to life for colleagues, and do something that they can actually get involved with, rather than just raise awareness.

“Engagement with our campaigns and services keeps going higher and higher. We saw a 35% increase in engagement with our campaigns from last year to this year, and we’re really pleased with that,” adds Gavinho.

The relationship they have with their internal comms team also helps to support these campaigns. By working in partnership they can be really creative and innovative in how they communicate with their colleagues, while also encouraging them to take part in initiatives and post about their acheivements through workplace channels such as our intranet and Yammer.

A global approach

All of this is supported by Entain’s global wellbeing network which consists of wellbeing leads (typically HRBPs), wellbeing champions (a mixture of job roles across different business areas) and mental health first aiders.

“Wellbeing leads attend our monthly meeting, where we communicate what our projects and campaigns are, and they feedback how they think it’s going to land in their location. Our wellbeing leads have a lot of input into our campaigns and our projects – it's very much a two-way street,” explains Tebbell. 

The wellbeing leads are essential to getting engagement. Gavinho adds that they help them to shape their campaigns, come up with topics, and ensure that there’s nothing cultural that they need to be aware of. 

“A second layer is now also being formed, whereby for each country there is a wellbeing lead, and also wellbeing champions. The wellbeing lead helps to run the campaigns but the champions help to cascade these down,” says Gavinho. And much like how the central wellbeing function works with the wellbeing leads, the local wellbeing champions feedback to the wellbeing leads through the network. So it's a constant loop. “It’s very much a collaborative approach to develop the campaigns. And it's probably the secret of our success.”

Tebbell adds that their approach has eight standard campaigns a year, and that all locations have the opportunity to tailor the standard campaigns if they wish too. “For example, I chose the global campaign to be financial wellbeing, but our wellbeing lead in Manila decided to change the campaign to self-love, because that's what they felt their colleagues wanted that month. The wellbeing lead in Manila organised a webinar with our partner Unmind about the topic of self-love and it had more than 100 attendees.”

The internal comms team also support the network by providing a wellbeing comms toolkit, which includes images, logos, comms assets and examples of the type of language to include. Wellbeing leads can then take whatever elements they want from the toolkit and tailor it to their needs.

By offering this flexibility it gives each location ownership of the wellbeing programme and allows them to do what feels right for their location. In addition to the eight flexible standard campaigns, the wellbeing team also run four ‘big ticket’ global campaigns where everyone does the same topic.

A more personalised, targeted approach in the future 

Looking ahead, Entain has plans to make its wellbeing campaigns even more targeted. It is currently undertaking a global survey to assess the success of its three-year health and wellbeing programme, and it plans to use the insight to develop the next three years of its strategy. In addition to the survey, it is also seeking qualitative feedback through its listening groups. 

“It's very much to understand what we are doing that is working, what are the gaps, and what are peoples’ real needs when it comes to their wellbeing. Then we want to segment our programme so that we are able to be a lot more proactive, and more tailored to our colleagues’ needs,” says Gavinho.

She adds that there will always be a foundation to its wellbeing programme, with the relevant tools and resources, but the next level will consider specific employee groups, such as the needs of its retail staff versus those who are office-based.

“With the results of this survey, we'll be able to see some specific needs and cut and slice the data in different ways to give us the insight we want be able to be more personalised. Tailored interventions are what we’re really excited about,” concludes Gavinho.


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