Customer case study

HOYTS: Supporting a young workforce

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of support cases come via chat


of support cases occur outside of 9-5


of support cases are mental health related


Since opening the doors of their first cinema in 1909, HOYTS has become one of the world's leading entertainment companies. As the largest single-brand movie exhibitor in Australia and New Zealand, HOYTS hosts movie lovers in over 400 screens across their network.

The Challenge

HOYTS gives many employees their first job opportunity, and for a predominantly young workforce, this will be their first foray into the working world. HOYTS managers also tend to be young, taking on their first managerial position within the company.

While even the most seasoned leaders can struggle to support team members facing issues in their personal and professional lives, for inexperienced managers, this can prove even more of a challenge. And with a young workforce, this is something HOYTS managers increasingly need to face. With two in five young Australians aged 16 to 24 having experienced a mental disorder in the past 12 months, providing the right support for their managers and teams had become a key focus for HOYTS.

Despite implementing mental first aid training and maintaining an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), these solutions failed to fully resonate with their Gen Z cohort. As Nicole Everingham, General Manager of Workplace Health and Safety explained: "Teenagers hate picking up phones and actually talking to people, especially if they're dealing with anxiety or depression."

This reluctance to engage with traditional support methods led to low uptake of their EAP and highlighted the need for a more proactive approach to supporting their people.

The Solution

With Sonder, the entire HOYTS workforce, and their families, have access to 24/7 safety, mental health and medical support.

"With an app they can use at any time of the day or night, our young employees know there is always human support available. Whether that through a phone call, or instant message. HOYTS managers also know that they can refer any team member to Sonder and feel confident they will get the support they need, easing the pressure on them to have all of the answers."

Nicole Everingham, HOYTS

The Results

Within four months of discovering Sonder as a solution, HOYTS had the app up and running, providing 24/7 safety, mental health and medical support for all employees.

  • High uptake: Proving that a young and digitally-savvy workforce will embrace services tailored for them, the adoption of Sonder exceeded expectations, with 50% of HOYTS employees regularly using the app. 

  • Talent attraction: Recognising the importance of wellbeing support in attracting talent, HOYTS now advertises Sonder access in all job ads.

  • Round-the-clock support: HOYTS team members can access the right care, at the right time, empowering them to thrive in their roles and contribute to HOYTS' success.

"Being able to provide our people with a centralised, Australia and New Zealand wide support system for our diverse workforce has been the best part about implementing Sonder. And the fact that I hear so much positive feedback from our people, makes me confident we made the right choice!"

Nicole Everingham, HOYTS

Company Info




Office based


New Zealand

No. of Employees


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