Meet the Speaker

Heather Dalmasso

Director of Consultants and Alliances, Calm

To say that the pandemic affected the mental health of employees is a massive understatement. And employers are well aware of the problem, which is why more of your clients are starting to offer mental health benefits.

But there’s an issue. 

Despite the fact that 32% of employers increased their investment in mental health programs, employees still don’t think you and your clients are doing enough. Where is the disconnect?

According to Heather Dalmasso, Director of Consultants and Alliances at Calm, benefits consultants have to go a step beyond just offering benefits and actually embed well-being into the employee experience.

Why communicating care is crucial to employee well-being

According to Heather, the disconnect between employees’ mental health issues and your attempts to help is largely due to a lack of perceived organizational support (POS).

This concept refers to employees’ perceptions about whether their organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being. And despite its questionable acronym, POS plays a critical role in reducing stress, burnout, and turnover.

To increase POS, you have to understand that employees tend to assign human-like characteristics to organizations. For instance, we describe companies as being “supportive” or “authentic” if we feel positively about them. Or if we feel negatively about organizations, we say they’re “unethical” or “lack empathy.”

And every individual moment of an employee’s experience—from recruitment to exit—shapes their perception of what ‘type’ of organization they work for.

The experience of onboarding a new hire, a performance review, or a firing doesn’t only influence the individual. It expresses who we are and what we care about to the entire team.

Heather Dalmasso Director of Consultants and Alliances, Calm

To help your clients show that they’re deeply invested in employees’ well-being, you have to find ways to communicate care. One way to accomplish this is by taking a more mindful approach to the employee experience. 

The 4 Ms of a mindful employee experience

Before we go any further, let’s get crystal clear on what mindfulness means. Mindfulness is setting an intention to pay attention in the present moment with kindness, openness, and non-judgment. To help you create a more mindful employee experience, Heather shared the 4 M framework they use at Calm. 

Motivation: The Why

Part of designing a mindful employee experience is pinpointing why you’re doing something. Are you offering mental health benefits because it’s what your competitors are doing? Or is it because you genuinely care about the well-being of your clients’ workforces? 

Since positive intent is key to increasing POS, Heather encourages brokers and their clients to make caring for employees their primary motivation. And guess what? What’s good for employees is good for business, so you’ll see a positive ripple effect when it comes to your bottom line. 

Moments: The When

There are key moments throughout every employee lifecycle. And every employee’s experience around these moments will shape how they perceive their organization.

For instance, during the onboarding process, someone’s first interaction with their manager can determine how they feel about the company. Similarly, during the offboarding process, the exit interview can affect whether an employee leaves their job feeling negatively or positively about the organization. That’s why it’s critical to infuse these moments with genuine care.

Check out the full session recap to find out what the fourth “M” of a mindful experience is.

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Management: The Who

While everyone—from the newest hire to the CEO—plays a critical role in communicating care, you could argue that managers are the window through which employees view your organization. There’s a reason why managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement.

Knowing this, give your clients the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to show up for employees—whether that’s offering training programs to help them cultivate empathy or offering meditation apps that allow them to be more mindful during their one-on-one interactions.

Watch the full session.

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