Wellbeing has rocketed up the agenda over the past two years. While the workplace has always been a major stressor for people, the situation was worsened for many by COVID-19 forcing them to work from home.
Although working from home has many benefits – primarily the lack of commute, as well as the ability to fit errands, chores, and appointments around work more easily – there are also downsides. For many, it has eroded work-life balance – they have struggled to switch off from work, and feel like they are not just working from home, but living at work.
In addition, many who were also grappling with homeschooling or other caring responsibilities felt like they were doing no task well and ended up frustrated and burnt out.
In this context – and the fact that stress and burnout is a major cause of employees quitting at record rates in the ‘Great Resignation’ – employers have invested more and more in tech solutions to improve wellbeing at work, as well as support workers with their challenges.
Wellbeing at Verrill
US law firm Verrill has always put employee health and wellbeing front and center of its HR strategy.
“It is so important to Verrill that our employees feel well because when we feel well, we do our best work, and then we’re able to thrive as a team”, assistant director of HR, Kate Aucoin, tells UNLEASH.
This is a “win for us individually as employees, but also a win for the firm and a win for our clients”.
The company’s focus on wellbeing feeds into its other HR priorities: “Providing exciting, challenging work, career growth, a culture built on respect” as well as “benefits and policies that allow our employees to thrive personally and professionally”, Aucoin adds.
This prioritization of career development also stands the law firm in good stead in the ‘Great Resignation’ as internal mobility and progression are key causes of attrition, particularly for younger employees.
Verrill teams up with MYNDUP
To help level its employee wellbeing offerings, Verrill has recently partnered with MYNDUP, an all-in-one wellbeing solution.
Verrill’s existing in-house wellbeing programs include a wellbeing committee and educational sessions around exercise, nutrition, and stress reduction. But “MYNDUP’s offerings [allow us] to enhance those [offerings] and bring them together in one very deliberate [and personalized] way,” explains Aucoin.
Aucoin shares why Verrill decided to work with MYNDUP over its wellbeing tech competitors. She did some research, and “found a whole bunch of companies all across the wellbeing space”, while at the same time listening to employees and what they needed out of the technology.
“Once I met Joel [Gujral, founder and CEO of MYNDUP] and heard the mission, learned about their offerings, it was clear [MYNDUP] was going to be a perfect fit for Verrill.”
It was “the only company that had services to meet the needs of our employees across the whole mental health spectrum”; the platform allows Verrill to help workers with serious mental health challenges, as well as provide personal and professional coaching all through the same platform and interface.
The proof is in the pudding. Verrill has been using MYNDUP for two months and “the feedback has been unbelievable”.
“Our employees are very excited that they’re able to have these offerings at their fingertips.”
With the help of MYNDUP, “we’re making it easy for people to access these services” whether it is counseling, life coaching, or meditation.
For instance, one employee shared with Aucoin and the HR team that they would never have thought to ask for life coaching through their employer. “They loved their first session, and were excited to go back for more”.
Gujral shares with UNLEASH that Verrill “were looking for proactive, rather than reactive, solutions” – reactive approaches are those that are implemented when employees reach a crisis point, whereas proactive methods plan ahead and support workers before the situation gets too serious.
“That proactive nature is exactly what we love at MYNDUP”. “That why we offer the full range of solutions” – wellbeing “is not just clinical”; the company finds workers “have some of their best sessions when they’re feeling their best” as it stops them slipping back into problems, notes Gujral.
MYNDUP and the legal sector
Verrill is MYNDUP’s first US law firm client; it is already working with Dentons. While MYNDUP’s experience in the legal sector was a plus for Verrill, “it wasn’t a deciding factor” in the firm’s decision to partner with the wellbeing tech company.
Gujral continues: “We’ve seen some great results at Dentons” – initially the pair started with a pilot, and then it was rolled across the whole of Europe and the Middle East. “It was fantastic to see the impact”, and “we [wanted] the opportunity to work with another law firm” to continue that work.
Verrill is really excited to be MYNDUP’s first US law client. Aucoin is hopeful that other firms will follow suit – since Verrill made the announcement, Aucoin shared that Verrill “started receiving inquiries from other law firms”, which speaks to the desire for better wellbeing at work in the legal sector.
This work with MYNDUP, as well as its general focus on employee wellbeing, feeds into Verrill’s work as a signatory to the American Bar Association’s wellbeing pledge.
Created in 2018, the pledge aims to tackle mental wellbeing problems particularly common in fast-paced, highly competitive working environments like law.
American Bar Association President Bob Carlson commented: “Many lawyers have struggled with alcohol, other substance-use or mental health disorders, and many more of us have watched friends wrestle with them.
“This pledge campaign will give these issues the attention they deserve by raising awareness throughout the profession and making help available to lawyers in need. I hope all law firms consider taking the pledge.”
Linked with this pledge, Gujral tells UNLEASH that the US legal sector is going to be a key market focus for MYNDUP.
The pledge “is a great thing to happen because it means companies…have to become proactive in their approaches, and set budget aside for mental wellbeing and mental health.”
This, in turn, helps employees become more empowered at work, and ultimately more productive, which is good for business.