Not surprisingly, employee resilience—the ability to bounce back from mental and emotional stressors—is a hot topic in the HR and benefits world.
HR leaders are rightly concerned about rising stress levels and mental wellness—and they’re actively addressing the issue in innovative ways.
At Calm, we’re huge believers in these efforts and we’re convinced the Calm platform can be an important part of the solution.
But here’s the thing: mental fitness platforms like Calm are only part of a holistic approach to employee well-being. They’re not a magic wand.
Giving your people access to Calm as a workplace benefit does not instantly ‘solve’ sleep, stress and anxiety issues. It’s part of the solution.
The good news: when you approach employee mental wellness holistically, each of the parts is much more effective.
“I think a lot about how I ensure my teams have the right culture to show up as their best selves for our business, for our customers, and for each other. I think one of the biggest things you can do is advocate for it.”
Joanna Lord, Former CMO, SkyScanner and ClassPass
There are two main spheres of activity for creating a healthy workplace:
If you only invest in the first sphere—the internal resources—you may be ignoring the most important contributors to workplace stress: the avoidable practices and unconscious signals that contribute to stress and burnout.
If your people don’t see an authentic management commitment improving the work culture, they may (rightly) suspect or reject your initiatives to help with their personal resilience-building.
Your employees will either believe that leadership genuinely cares about their well-being (and invests in it) or they’ll see any wellness benefits as an empty gesture designed to placate people and keep them at their desks.
A program like Calm is less likely to be effective in a work culture that consistently demands long hours and weekend work; or one that tolerates workplace bullying; or where speaking up about workload is frowned upon.
But in a workplace that actively promotes mental wellness—taking visible steps to reduce the contributors to stress, overwork and burnout—initiatives like Calm can show dramatic benefits.
As part of a campaign called #Let’sTalk, Roche Genentech, the biotech company, produced videos with senior leaders talking about their own mental health. They were shared on the company intranet as part of a campaign called #Let’sTalk.
(Harvard Business Review, Aug 2020)
Creating a culture of mental wellness will always be a journey. The important thing is to know that your company is on that road and moving in the right direction.
Here are some of the things we’ve seen companies do to build a culture of mental wellness:
“If we’re open and honest with ourselves about how we can be better leaders, we’re setting an example for our teams to take this perspective too.”
Ashley Waxman, employer brand leader, Asana
Companies that do these things aren’t just talking about a commitment to mental wellness at work. They’re demonstrating that commitment every day.
“Employees need, and increasingly demand, resources to help them cope with mental health problems.”
McKinsey Quarterly, Dec 2020
For companies that take mental wellness seriously, digital health platforms can play a critical role. More specifically, mental wellness platforms like Calm can help your people better understand stress, recognize their own relationship to anxiety, and give them the skills and tools to rise to the challenges of today’s pace of work and life.
The key is to use Calm as a part of a comprehensive, company-wide mental wellness strategy—and not as a quick fix in an otherwise dysfunctional workplace.
The most progressive HR and benefits leaders in some of the world’s best companies are discovering the power of this holistic approach—with Calm as a key component. If you’re not already using it in your company, we’d love to show you the platform. Book a demo here.
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