Since May this year, we’ve partnered with over 600 organizations across the country, and helped them to either start or strengthen their employee wellness initiatives. By rolling out access to the Mindhouse app to their employees, or conducting specially curated yoga and meditation sessions, we’ve been able to reach over 4 lakh working professionals in India so far.
We’ve noticed a fundamental change in how corporations are approaching mental health over the last year. Companies have become more mindful of the need for a robust mental health setup for their employees, driven largely by a realisation of its importance in the last 8-9 months.
We’ve learnt a whole lot along the way, and wanted to share a few of these insights with all of you.
Policy is key
One of our biggest learnings has been that a top-down approach to mental wellness is an excellent starting point for any organization. Making it a central pillar of your company’s corporate wellness policy helps position it as a key priority. This can then open up avenues to explore new practices and ideas, as the company continues to grow and evolve.
A more systematic approach
Companies have become more proactive at identifying how to start putting processes in place – something many were struggling with back in May. Through assorted sessions with wellness experts, HR teams are now first identifying what works best for their people, so they can take a more informed next step. This approach has been especially useful for organizations with both blue-collar and corporate teams, as they can explore multiple services, for better language and context localization.
Better access to resources
The first step for many organizations has been to set up seamless access to the right resources, through dedicated helplines, and easily available counseling and therapy services. Companies are also increasingly focusing on a more flexible “self-service” model, through access to wellness apps (like Mindhouse) which employees can access on their own time.
Great communication is vital
When addressing mental health at scale, the power of good communication shines through. Employees need to be made aware of the availability of relevant resources, and it’s also critical to discuss mental health issues with empathy and sensitivity. Management can play a key role here, by leading efforts to foster tolerance and acceptance at all levels of the organization.
Size doesn’t matter
It’s been heartening to see startups respond to mental health initiatives as enthusiastically as larger, more established corporations. The most positive moves have come from companies in BFSI, consulting, IT, and Media and Advertising. Organizations with large blue-collar workforces have also shown intent, despite challenges posed by limited services in vernacular languages.
In a challenging year for businesses everywhere, companies are providing a lot of encouragement for the future, by putting their people first, and recognizing the importance of mental wellness. We’re fairly confident that this is just the beginning, and we’ll no doubt have many more learnings to share in the months to come.