When Twinings looked to review their mental health programs and evolve their approach to workplace mental health, they turned to SuperFriend for assistance. We spoke with Jo McManus, Head of People and Performance at Twinings about her experience working with SuperFriend – here’s what she had to say.

About Twinings

Twinings is one of the world’s most recognisable fast-moving consumer goods brands, with a history spanning over 300 years since the company’s inception in England in the late 1600’s. The Australian division of Twinings boasts an annual turnover of $200 million and employs around 100 staff across its corporate office and factories.

Twinings pride themselves as a caring employer focussed on the wellbeing of our employees. Our management team strive to create a culture where dedicated people have a positive experience at work whilst providing excellent service to customers. As part of this goal, we wanted to conduct a review of our existing health and wellbeing programs to transition from ad hoc wellbeing initiatives and evolve our approach to a more integrated and holistic health and wellbeing strategy.

We wanted this review to be independent to the organisation in order to leverage the expertise of experienced workplace wellbeing professional and gain objective help and advice.

Why did Twinings choose SuperFriend?

We chose SuperFriend because it was just really clear speaking to you both [Pippa and Mark] that you are people who are really genuine, really authentic, easy to talk to – you weren’t trying to bamboozle us with lots of fancy acronyms or language about things. You were truly listening, so it was really a two-way discussion. You genuinely wanted to understand our business and what was going on for us.

It was really clear talking to you that you understood this topic, you’re very experienced in it, you spoke to lots of good examples and were tangible and brought them to life, but you didn’t do it in a pushy way. From the first discussion, it was apparent that you weren’t going to put a one-size fits all solution; it was very much a conversation where you were asking good questions, you were listening and you were thinking about the Twinings business and what our needs were.

SuperFriend’s approach

SuperFriend conducted a workplace audit which involved a review of workplace risk factors, indirect worker wellbeing influences (such as policy and workplace culture), participation data on opportunities offered in the past such as health activities, services and events, baseline and health interests of employees, workplace onsite facilities and resources available to support healthy behaviour, and business data, such as absenteeism, turnover, and productivity rates.

SuperFriend also had numerous meetings with our Managing Director, HR and Safety leaders, and conducted focus groups with our staff to understand desirability and prioritisation of key activities to include in the revised Mental Health strategy.

Outcomes and Priori-teas

SuperFriend identified gaps where we had room to improve as a business and provided recommendations on interventions and implementation– but they also highlighted the positive steps we were already taking. It was great to have an expert confirm that the wellbeing strategies we had in place were a step in the right direction, whilst also receiving guidance on how to improve.

SuperFriend took the time to understand our business, and in reviewing the strategy they helped us put together it is clear they had created something tailored to our needs and culture. The strategy echoed our values as a business and leveraged our language around everyday rituals: it promoted the positives and provided clear guidance on how we could grow and evolve to ensure every team member at Twinings could thrive at work.

Importantly, the strategy connected to our key business drivers and challenged us to continue working on improving our ways of working and drive better prioritisation and organisational efficiency to ensure that the content of employees’ tasks, work methods, and priorities are clear, and the everyone is aware of their role and contribution within the organisation.

Further, it acknowledged the need to continue to invest in training and capability to create a high-performing environment and augment this with specific leadership capabilities related to performance management in the context of mental health.

Thanks to the success of this engagement and the process we have undertaken with SuperFriend to date, Twinings will continue to work together with SuperFriend consultants to implement the proposed recommendations to strengthen our mental health strategy.

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