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Mental Well-Being

ChrisHolm Director, Global SupportFounding Member | Scholar ✭✭
edited September 2020 in Culture & Well-being

Richard Branson says, "If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients."

What has your company been doing to promote the mental well-being of your employees during the COVID-19 epidemic?


  • Elise Lostutter
    Elise Lostutter Business Process Manager, Global Customer Education Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    At Teradata we're doing much of the same as @Alex Gershman mentioned. Our C-level leaders are hosting all-hands calls more often, and at the VP/Director level they are hosting virtual happy hours. At our headquarters in San Diego there is a gym and the fitness instructors held classes on a regular basis, pre-pandemic. Now they've recorded workouts and posted them to our internal community, opening it up for all outside headquarters.

  • Ryan Marsey
    Ryan Marsey Member Success Manager Member | Enthusiast ✭

    Hi Courtney, I really love the idea of the wellness cash stipend! What a great motivator to help your employees take some time to focus on themselves and stay mentally and emotionally strong.

  • Piyush Dogra
    Piyush Dogra Director, Strategy Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭
    edited May 2020

    At Microsoft we are offering multiple benefits to employees to cope with the Covid-19 related disruptions and associated stress. Employees have an option to take three months of additional parental leave to help with extended school closures. As part of our employee benefits we are providing telehealth services for Behavioral Healthcare. We have organized several sessions on mindfulness and general mental being over the past month or so. This is also the first agenda item in our team meetings. We are organizing virtual happy hours over Teams to stay connected (with no business talk).

  • Deby Covey
    Deby Covey Sr Manager, Digical Certs & Compliance Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    We have internal Yammer channels and contests (share your favorite recipes, best home office, best virtual team photo, share your pets, kids, etc) that help keep people connected. Managers teach out to each team member for a "health check" and for those of us used to working remote - we have a virtual happy hour every week - where we now "see" people that we might not have seen in person in years! We have shared workout hints, virtual backgrounds, de-stress techniques, and the challenges of home-schooling. I believe this pandemic has forced us into "getting to know each other" better than if we saw each other every day. It has sparked a creative nature to our workplaces that we tend to ignore during the hustle bustle of the work place.

  • JeffPlumer
    JeffPlumer Sr. Member Success Manager Member | Enthusiast ✭

    Great conversation here. Telehealth will continue to increase, specifically in regard to mental health. Ive lead large teams throughout my career and its important to empower your leaders to break down the barriers in getting help. Most large businesses have some kind of outlet for this as you all have mentioned. Make sure your leaders are armed with the knowledge of your internal and external resources for their teams.

  • JosephReifel
    JosephReifel New Product Introduction Engineer Lead Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Love all the insights. F5 has obtained membership to Headspace for all employees, and there are some employee-led Zoom sessions for meditating. There are more executive-led calls on Zoom laying out F5's response, and Directors and VPs are encouraged to run all-hands calls with a non-business agenda. This has been going on long enough that it's getting creative: one session I attended was a game of Bingo, and in an upcoming session it will be a contest of who can create the most interesting Zoom background. It's become acceptable for an employee to announce that they're going to go offline for a couple hours to take a mental health break, and I'm seeing a lot support and encouragement given to employees when they "feel it" suddenly in the middle of a workday.

  • ThomasLah
    ThomasLah Executive Director & EVP Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is interesting to see clear trends in the comments posted:

    -More communication with employees, not less.

    -More informal communication sessions with employees.

    -Contests to keep virtual interactions engaging and fun.

    At TSIA, we are experiencing these same trends. We moved from our typical monthly all hands meeting to weekly Friday "Work Buddy Huddles" that have a theme like "funny hats." We do provide a quick company update because everyone is anxious for information. Then, the conversation is pretty informal and fun. Participation is completely voluntary. It is just a way for us as a company to feel connected. Everything feels so heavy right now--I think employees appreciate an opportunity for more lighthearted interaction.

  • ChrisHolm
    ChrisHolm Director, Global Support Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    For us, the importance of mental well-being started at the very top. If the CEO makes mental well-being important, all other leaders in the company follow suit. That’s a good thing, not just to know someone at the top cares but that it is a priority for the workplace, which instills loyalty in the company and its mission. It sounds like the responses so far have all been wide-reaching and fully backed by leaders in executive positions – hurray for TSIA member companies! 

  • DivyaAgarwal
    DivyaAgarwal Associate Director Member | Enthusiast ✭

    It is an old thread, but I wanted to share my experience at CSS Corp. Employee-centricity and positivity have been proactively driven here by the top leadership. When the pandemic began, it had impacted the Philippines (3 of our centers are here) pretty badly, and there was a general sense of insecurity about jobs and salaries. CSS Corp gave out advanced salary payments to Philippines teams to support them and reassure them. More recently, the company gave out promotions, hikes, and variable pays to all eligible employees globally, against the general trend.

    We receive open and candid updates on the situation from the leadership regularly. We celebrate our 'CSS Corp Heroes' on social media and reward them. Globally, teams are conducting virtual parties, jams, etc. to relax and have fun. Such initiatives help us stay positive. We have 24/7 employee counseling and employee assistance programs globally, and employees are encouraged to take a few hours or days off if they feel stressed. I, personally, struggled to adjust to WAH and found it difficult to shut off post-work hours. My manager proactively helped me cope with it and set boundaries for work/personal time. Just last week, the entire global marketing team had a 'virtual happy hours' with our CSMO,  @Sunil Mittal, where he motivated and encouraged all of us and told us that it's OK to take it slow sometimes and not be overwhelmed.

    P.S. I won the award for having the most interesting drink at the party! :D

  • ChrisHolm
    ChrisHolm Director, Global Support Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Thanks for sharing, Divya. Advanced salary payments and promotions, hikes, and variable payments does seem to go against the general trend. @Thomas Lah I'm curious if TSIA has surveyed this across its customer base. It has tracked revenue and headcount but it would be interesting to know how many salary and promotion increases have been put on hold.

    Congratulations on winning the most interesting drink - now we all have to know what it was so that we can make one for our next virtual happy hour! :-)


  • ThomasLah
    ThomasLah Executive Director & EVP Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Chris Holm , we have not surveyed on the topic of promotions, salary increases, salary decreases. Let me get on that! We will stand up an Rapid Research Poll on that topic.

  • ChrisHolm
    ChrisHolm Director, Global Support Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Thanks @Thomas Lah!

  • DivyaAgarwal
    DivyaAgarwal Associate Director Member | Enthusiast ✭

    @Chris Holm  - Yes, the salary and promotions scene has generally been grim in the industry, as expected. However, I did hear of a few other companies like Capgemini and Accenture giving out hikes at least to a part of their employee bases.

    My drink was a glass of fresh sweet lime juice topped with vodka, tequila, gin, and rum :) Hope you like it!

    @Thomas Lah  - A survey on salary and promotions will throw some interesting insights. Thank you!

  • ThomasLah
    ThomasLah Executive Director & EVP Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭
  • ChrisHolm
    ChrisHolm Director, Global Support Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Thanks Thomas! The survey contains some very insightful data and is key to understanding how companies are planning and mapping out their strategies for the months and dare I say, years ahead. This recent survey, combined with previous survey data, paints a large canvas that is key to understanding and tackling the larger journey companies are on and the challenges being faced.

    I really appreciate the work TSIA has been putting into gathering these different data sets.