News & Analysis

Mental Health Awareness Month: What Tech Leaders Are Saying?

mental health

Work-life balance is a big factor for an employee’s mental health. There has been an increase in the adoption of collaboration and work productivity solutions for working remotely not only from home, but from anywhere. However, working professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to separate their professional and personal lives leading to increased mental anxieties, stress and burnouts. At Aeris, we offer our employees to operate autonomously without being micromanaged. Allowing employees to regulate their time and even embrace flexible work hours are examples of this. Our team leaders strive to establish a work environment that fosters physical and mental well-being and a healthy work-life balance of their team members. Our health cover for employees include consultation with psychiatrist. We have been regularly organising team offsites, yoga sessions and recreation activities which even include employee’s families. – Sushant Patnaik is the Head-HR at Aeris Communications

“The pandemic has impacted the way businesses function daily resulting, oftentimes, in issues such as workload management, overexposure to digital media, work-home balance, etc. A recent study by ASSOCHAM reveals that 43% of the people who work in the private sector seem to be challenged by work-related mental health issues.

While employees need to learn and be coached to strike the right balance, organizations have a huge role to play in pre-emption and mitigation of mental health issues among employees and the secret sauce is in being respectful, caring, and considerate towards people and their needs. Managers should wake up to the fact that results need to be delivered by taking people along, not at the cost of leaving people behind!

Birlasoft core values place a great emphasis on empathy and care. The organization ensures the creation of a positive and collaborative environment. We also have expanded the scope and reach of our Employee Assistance Programs for our employees and their families. Further, as a testament to our commitment to employee wellbeing, we launched Ikshana, a Birlasoft Employee Care Fund, this year.

We strongly believe that the definition of a healthy workforce has moved beyond physical health, and hence influencing the mental health and well-being issues of our employees continue to be key cogs in the wheels of creating an empowered workforce.” – Arun Dinakar Rao, Chief People Officer, Birlasoft

“Most recently, investing in mental health and wellness in the workplace has become a true business imperative. Fast forward to 2022, and the stakes are even higher with remote work and isolation adding additional challenges. However, other major stressors contribute to employees’ collective mental health including a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at a company. At Icertis, our employees are our most important asset, and we strive to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace for people from all backgrounds, and irrespective of whether they work from an Icertis office or their homes or from any other location. We formalized our efforts in 2021 and continue to make progress through both regional and global DEI Councils that prioritize initiatives in alignment with our FORTE values. Some examples include implementing global unconscious bias training to educate every employee on how to combat bias, starting at the top. We added four female leaders to our executive team and Icertis board to increase the diversity of voices in the room. We also recently expanded our domestic partner definition for insurance benefits for Indian Icertians to improve healthcare access for current and future LGBTQ Icertians.” – Pranali Save, Chief Human Resources Officer, Icertis

“The most important learning from the pandemic has been that it has affected everyone differently and each person deploys unique coping mechanisms. Our innate fight or flight reaction kicks-in. During stressful situations, people find the ability to power through by juggling household responsibilities, caring for children and aged parents, and managing work and other tasks like super humans, only to feel the toll later.

Returning to what was considered ‘normal life’ is bringing up new challenges. We are seeing that people, and women in particular, whose households are now accustomed to having them around most of the time, are finding it hard to cope. Organizations can alleviate the situation by providing an inclusive and flexible work environment.  Leaders need to be agile, empathetic, and aware of their employees’ evolving needs. Encouraging women to have open, judgement-free conversations about their challenges will help identify ways in which they can be supported.” – Ruchi Bhalla, Country Head- Delivery Centers, India & Vice President Human Resources (Asia Pacific) at Pitney Bowes

“The concept of ‘business as usual’ & ‘usual way of doing things’ was challenged due to pandemic. It gave us an opportunity to relook & redesign our practices. On our journey of people-centricity, we have realized that flexibility is great for employees and their mental well-being. Through the ‘Vacation without Limits’ program, we are empowering our employees to plan their time off, get recharged & come back to work rejuvenated by enabling their wellbeing. Our focus is on making work “outcome centric” and trusting our employees. The base of this program is the ‘trust’ we have in our employees and confidence in the judgment of each Amdocs employee that they know best how to manage their work-life.” – Lynette D’Silva, Head of Regional HR- India & APAC, Amdocs

The pandemic has brought focus on mental barriers and fears to the fore like never before. It is paramount for companies to be prepared with tools that provide individual counseling, coaching, and therapeutic consulting ‘on demand’. In this digital age, we must harness the power of technology and combine it with the most recent breakthroughs to enhance overall health.

At STL, we have always believed that to truly build a resilient workforce, prioritizing employee wellbeing is key. As a forward-thinking organization, we view well-being not as a nebulous idea, but as a set of actionable steps and everyday habits. Simple things like including wellness check-ins in team meetings, creating a safe space for open conversations, Flexi leave options, and making critical resources such as self-help tools readily available are practices being followed within teams. As part of our larger people-focused initiative, we have two ongoing programmes- STL Care -an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These programs cater to holistic wellness, especially mental and emotional wellbeing. Creating and nurturing a positive work environment where employees can excel professionally and lead a healthy lifestyle has always been paramount at STL. The services include both mental health counseling sessions and other consultation services that will be delivered either virtually or in-person and will cover issues tailored to an employee’s needs. They could range from managing stress, building relationships, grieving a loss, or even financial and legal advice. We fully embody our aim of creating a “culture of care,” which implies that caring is a top priority and compassion for individuals is ingrained in our DNA. As we move ahead, STL is committed to continuing building a safe, inclusive, and supportive work environment where our people can ‘bring their whole selves’ and thrive.” – Anjali Byce, CHRO at STL

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