As a mother of two, Angela Wright likes to “parent loudly” at work. So, Wright, who is vice- president of Total Rewards within the People & Culture team at lululemon, might share at the start of a meeting that she has to leave early to get to her daughter’s school track meet. Professionally, she believes it’s important to set an example for working parents and that it’s okay to ask for what they need to support themselves and their families.
“People have full lives outside of work,” says Wright. “We’re really focused on supporting our people in balancing their life commitments, so they feel comfortable and empowered to effectively manage their whole lives, including their mental health and overall well-being.”
Wright says the Vancouver-based athletic apparel, footwear, and accessories company recently went through the process of changing their employee assistance provider (EAP), ultimately landing on a solution from GreenShield Health – the health services division of GreenShield, a not-for-profit integrated health services and benefits company.
In April 2023, lululemon launched GreenShield Health’s personalized, digital-first holistic EAP to help achieve its ambitious employee mental health and well-being goals.
“There’s an interesting shift occurring right now with employers and EAP programs broadly, where employees are really needing a more personalized EAP experience,” says Wright. “GreenShield’s program empowers a lot of choice for our people and removes as many barriers as possible for them to access care that’s timely and customized to their needs. We really like that.”
Zahid Salman, GreenShield’s president and CEO, says lululemon came to them looking for a modern solution that would resonate with their employees and was drawn to its personalized and digital-first approach.
“In particular, they were interested in how our inclusive therapist matching process could better serve the needs of their diverse workforce,” says Salman. “By completing our unique matching survey, employees can easily match with therapists based on clinical background, culture, religion, language, availability, and more.”
Being digital was an important factor because employees could simply download the app and be able to access help in real-time from anywhere as well as customize their experience. Employee feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We heard from our employees that they wanted more control to choose a mental health professional who has shared lived experiences,” says Wright. “Through our new program, people say they feel empowered by having visibility into the intake and selection processes, in addition to being able to schedule around their job and other life commitments.”
Since lululemon launched GreenShield Health’s EAP program, GreenShield has seen a steady rise in the number of lululemon employees using its services and has worked with the company’s team on new engagement tactics.
“We’re consistently impressed by lululemon’s total approach to health,” says Salman. “Like GreenShield, they view health holistically. Our integrated suite of work, health, and life services has supported lululemon’s approach, enabling their employees to create individualized care plans supported by a broad range of health care practitioners, from sleep coaches to dietitians.”
Inspired by the results, lululemon is taking its partnership with GreenShield Health to the next level by introducing GreenShield+ in January 2024.
GreenShield+ is a first-of-its-kind digital health and benefits ecosystem that offers employees unprecedented levels of integration between their health services and benefits plans.
“ GreenShield’s program empowers a lot of choice for our people and removes as many barriers as possible for them to access care that’s timely and customized to their needs. We really like that.”
-Angela Wright, vice-president of Total Rewards, lululemon
With GreenShield+, lululemon employees will be able to easily check their benefits coverage, access health services, connect with thousands of health care professionals and seamlessly submit their benefits claims, all in one place, anytime, anywhere.
It could also give them access to the ultimate solution – a platform that brought health and benefits together all in one place.
GreenShield and lululemon share a profound commitment to championing better health,” states Salman. “Our approach is holistic, emphasizing physical and mental wellness, inclusivity and personal development. We’re reimagining a future where offering employees convenient, holistic health support isn’t just an easy choice – it’s the norm.”
Wright affirms that GreenShield’s vision, mission and values align closely with lululemon’s.
“Supporting greater well-being for all is at the heart of both of our organizations, as is a deep commitment to inclusion, our communities and the environment, which we bring to life through our respective impact strategies and work,” says Wright. “If I think about lululemon and who we are, our purpose statement is we elevate human potential by helping people feel their best.”
Both organizations support numerous charitable initiatives. For instance, the lululemon Centre for Social Impact invests in and partners with grassroots and global organizations to break down barriers that prevent access to well-being. Since launching in 2021, the Centre has given over US$25- million in grants and partnered with hundreds of non-profits around the world.
Similarly, as a not-for-profit social enterprise, GreenShield is uniquely structured to reinvest its earnings and redeploy its health services to support underserved Canadian communities via its social impact brand, GreenShield Cares.
“We are on track to achieve our target of generating $75-million to improve the lives of at least one million Canadians by 2025, with a focus on mental health, oral health and essential medicines,” says Salman. “For both GreenShield and lululemon, giving back isn’t just what we do, it’s who we are.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with GreenShield. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.