6 Leaders Share How They Prioritize Their Well-being at Work

With small steps, we can create a workplace culture that puts well-being and resilience first.

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Getty Images

Earlier this year, Thrive Global and SHRM launched a pledge asking companies to sign their commitment to continue prioritizing the mental health and well-being of their employees. We launched the pledge amid growing concerns that as the economic times are getting tougher, the advances made during the last two years in support of employee mental health could be lost. And if we’re going to set ourselves up for long-term success, we need to build on the lessons of the past two years — since it’s in challenging times that we most need to double down on our mental resilience.

Since the pledge launched in June, thousands of individuals from hundreds of countries around the world have shared their commitment to the mental health of their teams. Now, we’re sharing their stories. We asked individuals who signed the pledge, how they’ve been able to prioritize well-being in their workplaces and they delivered. Here as some of the insightful strategies they shared: 

Partner with a mental health organization to provide resources to employees

“We have partnered with the National Council on Wellbeing to implement their Mental Health First Aid at Work program. It is comprised of an Executive Overview to provide senior leadership with a grounding in the fundamental framework, including a 4-hour General Awareness training for all employees, a series of Mental Health Essentials, and the capstone element: Mental Health First Aid certification whereby employees are trained to deploy the 5-point action plan to crisis and non-crisis scenarios. It is global in footprint and peer-reviewed for effectiveness. Our first Essentials session was very well-attended and very well-received. This is just one very large prong of a larger strategy to provide for our employees’ well-being. We will also be implementing two new programs to address employees’ financial well-being. In combination with our already existing health and wellness offerings, we believe we have a strong suite of benefits to take care of our colleagues.”

Angela Cheng-Cimini, SVP Talent & CHRO at Harvard Business Publishing

Urge managers to talk to teammates about mental health

“We started with education. We have provided managers with a toolkit on how to have conversations with their employees around general well-being.  We also shared some information on how to identify some signs that their employees may be struggling.  We have also been really focused on highlighting the benefits that our organization offers to support  all aspects of health and well-being. We have seen our employees respond really well to the conversations.  We have heard comments about how nice it is to have a leadership team who truly cares about their employees and their family’s well-being.”

Cami Briggs, SVP, Human Resources at Financial Partners Credit Union

Make well-being central to your companies cultural values

“At Emerson, we have focused our wellbeing efforts around our company’s evolving cultural priorities.  As we create a culture centered around innovation, agility, and trust and empowerment, we have introduced a hybrid workplace, flexible work hours, virtual healthcare options, and mental health resources for our global workforce.  These new programs holistically support our colleagues, enabling them to better balance the many priorities in their lives.”

Elizabeth Adefioye, Chief People Officer, Emerson

Encourage employees to make time for what’s important to them outside of work

“We’re on a mission to make anywhere feel like home and combat the social isolation many people face today. Pivt is a unique social platform for mobile and remote workers, providing the right support at the right time through community, content, and wellness. But we don’t stop there. We wouldn’t get anywhere if it wasn’t for the amazing, talented people that make Pivt the company that it is. One way we’re investing in our people’s well-being is by  spending more time asking ‘How are you doing?’ and meaning it. We’re also redesigning our onboarding process by prioritizing human goals like building excitement and confidence, encouraging generous use of PTO, recognizing how transactional remote work can be and ensuring we’re making time to connect on real-life, and providing a monthly wellness stipend for things like a message or gym membership. We’re extending trust and flexibility to our team so they can support others when needed like caring for an aging parent part of the day, or volunteering at your children’s school during work hours to help the school remain open. Work can be a wonderful means of helping us live the lives we want. The more we invest in this mindset, the more we all gain.”

Chris Roberts, Chief Operating Officer at Pivt Enterprise

Hold team events to foster a sense of community and connection

“Pair Team’s mission is to connect underserved communities with high-quality care and that mission depends on our team being able to bring their best selves to the work we’re doing. The communities that we care for are complex and can be heavy to carry. We care for homeless families and those with substance use disorders and severe mental illness, amongst others that seek care from safety-net primary care. To provide high-quality care to our communities, we have to take care of ourselves and each other. We offer flexible paid time off and employees are encouraged to take time to care for themselves. We foster a culture of trust balanced with the accountability of working as a team to ensure that the commitments we’ve made to our communities don’t fall through the cracks. We prioritize morning stand-ups with an entirely remote team to get a daily dose of facetime and camaraderie. We have a #wellness channel where we regularly share what wellness activities we’re up to, whether it be a photo from our walk or a recipe of the cookies we’re baking. We even hold game nights! And we ask ice breakers during Town Hall so that everyone on our quickly growing team continues to get to know things about each other.”

Cassie Choi, RN, Co-founder and COO at Pair Team

Offer company programs and benefits to support employees’ mental health

“At ThoughtSpot, we’ve always kept the mental well-being of our employees front and center. This has included launching net-new programs and benefits, and providing a broad scope of support to help employees take care of themselves and their families. We introduced quarterly company-wide mental health days, team bonding stipends for local teams to connect in a manner that feels safe, and global Slack channels for regional dialogue and meetups across the organization. In May, the People team at ThoughtSpot did a lot of work around Mental Health Awareness month to create an open space for employees to take care of themselves both physically and mentally, and make mental health an okay topic to talk about openly in the workplace. ThoughtSpot also made a public pledge to continue to prioritize the well-being of our team and wellness programs in becoming a member of One Mind at Work. It is important for us to also hear from employees about concerns, their wants and get them the necessary answers. We introduced AllVoices, an anonymous and safe platform for employees to get answers to any questions that they have or to raise concerns.”

Pam Holmberg, VP, People at ThoughtSpot

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