When you ask Seer team members about the pace at Seer, the answer is some form of ‘fast’. We move fast, we break things. That pace is great for innovation, autonomy, and exploration. But, it can also bring challenges.
Now sprinkle on a year including a global pandemic, social injustice, a polarizing election, and working remotely (with kids, parents, partners, and pets).
The perfect recipe for burnout, emotional exhaustion, anxiety, depression…
While work is only one piece of our team’s lives, the lines between work and home became blurred in 2020. Their personal world and mental health could not exist separately from their work world.
In an effort to support the whole team member, we needed to pivot to have mental health play a bigger role.
So we did, and we approached mental health support in a big way. We’re not perfect, but we are proud to say through our extensive research and learning, we’ve grown tremendously in how we talk, think, and act on supporting our team’s mental health. It will continue to be an ongoing journey for Seer.
Snapshot of our 2020 mental health initiatives:
As COVID-19 and Mental Health Awareness Month collided (hello, May *wave*), we rolled out a handful of initiatives to recognize and support mental health awareness. Each week, we chose a different theme to focus on — sharing a curated deck with resources, events, and challenges we encouraged the team to complete.
Insights gleaned from team surveys helped inform the initiatives we had queued and how we could continue to best support the team beyond May.
Week 1: Mental Health Awareness & Seer’s EAP
Week 2: Mindfulness & Meditation
Week 3: Healthy Eating & Movement
Week 4: Self-care, Gratitude, & Lessons Learned
Following the month we surveyed the team to understand the impact our focus had made. Of those surveyed…
87% of Mental Health Awareness month participants felt it had a positive impact on their mental health.
We defined ‘participation’ as: If someone read resources, attended an event, or was inspired to make personal changes based on content provided.
By August of 2020, we were still feeling the impacts of working fully remote, social isolation, and the pandemic.
Wil posted to his LinkedIn community wanting to understand what other organizations were doing to support their team’s mental health.
From there, we leaned into our ‘Stop Guessing’ approach and turned to the data to understand where else we could impact.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Utilization Analysis
An employee assistance program (EAP) is a work-sponsored intervention program designed to identify and assist team members in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting their performance at work, such as marital, financial or emotional problems; family issues; or substance or alcohol abuse
The gap was clear, while we had resources available, there was still more we could do. So we began a 4 month deep dive into organizations that could supplement our current benefits and support our team’s mental health.
When diving into the world of mental health, there were a multitude of options in front of us. We considered setting up a mental health fund, adding on to our current traditional benefits, or exploring digital platforms. Wil’s LinkedIn post gave us a head start in comprehending the wide variety of services that are available.
As we continued to explore, we kept coming back to the idea of a digital platform that would provide easily accessible virtual support to anyone, anywhere.
As a team of digital marketers, we assumed our team would be comfortable with virtual support. While we had a hunch that our team would be comfortable with virtual support, we knew it wasn’t enough to just trust our gut– as always, we needed data to confirm our hypothesis.
It turned out 73% of survey respondents had either no preference on appointment location (in-person vs. virtual) or preferred virtual appointments.
Step 1: Evaluate 13 different digital mental health platforms
We evaluated large companies who support organizations with thousands of employees and smaller startups geared towards growing organizations. We evaluated the platform types, average utilization, financial investment, support provided, and more. And from that, we realized we still don’t have the answers.
Step 2: Pilot a platform for 3 months
We wanted to understand the platform utilization, the team’s experience, and our overall financial investment. We selected BetterHelp as our pilot platform. We are about half way through the pilot, reporting 99% active users, 192 messages, and 61 live sessions in January alone.
Step 3: Evaluate Ancillary Benefits in Open Enrollment
In conjunction with the pilot we evaluated benefits for Open Enrollment. To understand what was most important to the team, we surveyed them on a list of ancillary benefits. The top two were:
Seer’s benefits already provided a HRA for in-network, medical deductible expenses. But, for folks with out of network providers, appointments could be costly. So, we expanded our benefits package to include a second HRA. This ‘All Access HRA’ provided $1,000 per team member for health related costs. This is available to all folks, regardless of if they enrolled in our benefits or not. It’s flexibility in use gives our team the freedom to choose where they want to seek coverage and support.
2020 brought us a lot of teachable moments, including that mental health awareness & support has a place in the workplace. Mental health is a personal ongoing journey. While we aren’t solely responsible for our team’s emotional wellbeing, we feel it is our responsibility to create pathways to mental health support.
Looking ahead, In 2021 we plan to:
While we made great strides in 2020, we still have a long way to go. We look forward to continuing to evolve the ways we support our team this year and moving forward.
Check out our open positions and learn more about #SeerCareers.
Source: www.seerinteractive.com, originally published on 2021-03-22 16:38:09