Recently, Mentera’s Global Ambassador, Natasha Bowman sat down with Jen Elmquist, executive director of Life Time Mind, for a Mentera Care Chat to talk about ways to build trust with employees. Care Chats are an online series of discussions with experts from leading companies across the country that have taken the lead on addressing mental and emotional well-being in the workplace.
About the Mentera Care Stack
Kicking off the discussion, Bowman detailed Mentera’s Care Stack, which is a benchmarking tool for companies that want to ensure their wellness programs are comprehensive in scope and offer resources for taking care of employees’:
- General mental health, day to day
- Acute needs during escalated time periods
- Chronic needs for living with mental health conditions
- Unique needs during recovery, as they overcome challenges and create new patterns for living.
Of the Care Stack, Elmquist, observed, “It’s helpful to break it down like that.” She says Life Time’s commitment is to be a company that cares, not just in words but in action. Life Time is a large health and fitness wellness company, with 160 athletic clubs across the country. The company’s Life Time Mind program was built to not only improve the mental wellness of team members overall but also help them improve their productivity in the workplace.
Elmquist said the COVID-19 pandemic helped to decrease stigma of mental health issues, and, ultimately, increase access to mental health resources more than ever before. She noted that during the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, technology stepped up with an increasing number of apps that gave individuals 24/7 access to mental health resources. In addition, large-scale external coaching programs began to grow, and today we are seeing more robust mental wellness programs within companies.
At the start of the health crisis, Life Time’s Mind program was in its pilot stage. Life Time shifted from building its coaching resources from without to within and began to look at the program through a more holistic lens—one that examined how whole health contributed to mental well-being and work productivity. She said the pandemic also offered more grassroots opportunities to not only build trust within its team but to also offer its employees the chance to access the resource during the workday, when they may need it most. The program offers solution-focused exercises for de-stressing, problem-solving and thought-shifting.
Elmquist advises companies looking to start or grow their employee wellness program should:
- Cultivate top-down buy-in. Well-being programs are a long-term commitment, and the C-suite must show in words and action that they understand that the well-being of their people is the greatest asset they have to their own success.
- Examine what they are already doing. Companies should evaluate the programs they currently have to see if not only are they being used, but if they are being effective. “I would want to know that every program I’m paying for is working and people are using it,” she said.
To view the Care Chat with Elmquist, as well as those with other experts, visit Care Chats | Mentera (joinmentera.com).