Starbucks Canada Invests in Comprehensive Total Wellness for its Employees


TORONTO — Starbucks Canada recently made LifeWorks, a leading digital wellness platform and app, available to all Canadian employees and their family members — offering access to critical support services, including uncapped short-term 24/7 counselling sessions and financial advice.

LifeWorks’ total well-being platform goes beyond the traditional Employee Assistance Program (EAP), featuring rewards and recognition, proactive advice and easy-to-use learning modules and assessment tools. The platform also provides more comprehensive mental, physical, social and financial-health resources that better meet the individual needs of employees.

Starbucks is making LifeWorks available to all employees, including those working fewer than 20-hours a week who may not be eligible for benefits.

“Caring for partners is fundamental to who we are at our core as a company,” says Cara Beck, vice-president of Partner Resources, Starbucks Canada. “We know that now, more than ever, we have a responsibility as a company to do more to support partners wherever they are on their wellness journey. Our commitment is unwavering.”

A recent survey by Statistics Canada found 88 per cent of Canadians have experienced at least one symptom of anxiety since physical distancing began. And, according to a monthly Mental Health Index report from Morneau Shepell, which developed the LifeWorks platform, Canadians’ mental health has been on the decline for the past four consecutive months.

“The LifeWorks platform provides support for mental, physical, social and financial well-being. If any one of these four pillars falters, it can negatively affect the others,” says Neil King, president, LifeWorks and executive vice-president, Morneau Shepell. “Canadians across all industries are struggling with their mental health right now, which is why it is so critical that we approach well-being in a holistic way.”

LifeWorks joins other mental-health initiatives Starbucks Canada offers its employees. In 2016, the company introduced a $5,000 mental-health benefit, which has been the single most-used benefit among Canadian benefits-eligible partners, behind drug coverage, for three-consecutive years. And, earlier this year, the company provided all employees with free subscriptions to the meditation app, Headspace.

In August, the company also began dedicated mental-health training for Canadian store managers to enable these leaders with the tools and knowledge to guide their teams at any stage of a mental-health crisis. This additional in-store support means retail partners can feel comfortable talking to their leaders about their mental-health challenges and be able to easily find resources specific to their needs.

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