Thomas Forstner
People & Talent Lead at Juro
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How Juro supports teams through lockdown and beyond

A guest post from Thomas Forstner, People & Talent Lead at Juro

Mental health is a huge talking point right now. Whether it's a byproduct of global lockdowns from the pandemic, or an additional goal for companies striving to offer a work/life balance, 53% of companies surveyed in this report are looking to add a mental health benefit to their roster over the next 12 months.

Globally, mental health has declined over the past year. Blindly implementing a slate of benefits and hoping the problem disappears doesn’t solve anything - and the people and talent team at Juro was cautious of this.

We wanted to be proactive and prevent the issue from existing in the first place, instead of reacting to the problem after it had manifested. We set out to: take preventative measures; address and resolve the root cause of the problem; and add value to our team’s mental health in the long term.

With all this in mind we carried out a problem discovery with the team and our founders, and introduced Spill to the business, as well as mental and physical wellbeing initiatives, such as:

🥇 Providing mental health training to all managers

🗓 Ensuring managers addressed wellbeing as part of their weekly 1:1 meetings

🏋️‍♀️ Subsidizing employees’ gym membership, workout gear, health subscriptions and more

💻 Offering a £300 budget so employees can improve their remote setup

🧠 Encouraging people to take ‘wellbeing days’, separate from our holiday policy

Addressing mental health issues can be daunting, especially at a smaller business where each decision has long-term impacts on culture and work life. How can businesses incorporate these resources, and simplify the process along the way? Here’s how we did it.

Get feedback. It’s invaluable.

We pulse-check the team’s engagement with a survey every quarter. We treat this survey like a hypothesis generator; what is the team saying, why are they saying it, how does this impact the product and what can we implement to test that theory and improve?

Over the past two quarters, the people and talent team was cautious of responses that indicated levels of burnout - especially as the ‘how’ of and ‘where’ of our work life has changed dramatically.

Juro shifted entirely to remote work, and it seems this will be the norm for the near and medium term, not just for us but for our customers (we asked them). Remote working opens employees up to the risk of burnout, a lack of community, a sense of isolation, and more.

Align with the company’s values.

Simply introducing a benefit would work, but we decided to align any and all benefits with our core values:

👌 Keep it simple: can the solution integrate with Juro’s current tech stack, or will we need to use a separate system? If the platform is disruptive to our working day, and requires several training sessions before employees can use it, we need to consider whether it’s the best fit for us.

❤️ Love the details: does this solution provide features that are perfect for a company of our size? We thrive off feedback from our employees - does this platform offer anonymized data so we can measure the success of implementing this benefit?

🚀 Trust and deliver: does this solution offer the highest quality of service? Does it also offer different levels of counselling? Therapy covers a vast range of support, and it would be beneficial to cover the whole spectrum of self-help; from books on mental health to actual, recurring therapy sessions, to further support and escalation if necessary.

🙏 Be more human: is this solution remote-ready? We’re currently working remotely, with offices in London and Riga, Latvia. Some of our employees are also working from home in other countries, like the Netherlands, or Russia. It’s imperative that the platform bridges the cultural and communication gap between employees, so it’s easy to use for everyone.

Assess all the options.

We ran through several options before deciding on Spill. Spill fit the bill above and beyond the alternatives because:

  • It integrated with our existing tech stack - employees could access resources directly through Slack
  • It was easy to trial and install - within a few clicks, we were up and running
  • Spill felt friendlier and less clinical in tone, which made employees feel at ease
  • The quality of therapists met our high standards
  • It feeds us anonymized data regularly - feedback, usage summaries, PHQ and GAD scores (standard clinical measures) are valuable for us to correlate with top-level engagement and performance metrics and get insights
  • It allowed people to opt-out, instead of having them opt-in - a perfect solution if your people and talent team are too busy to hassle people into using the product!
  • It was flexible with pricing, offering a 30-day rolling contract and different pricing plans - perfect for a company our size

Start small

If implementing a benefit across the whole business sounds daunting, then don’t. Instead, start with a pilot project and monitor closely. At Juro we chose ten people at random, and gave them the opportunity to trial Spill over two weeks. We asked them to submit anonymous feedback, and made a decision to introduce to the wider business, based on their responses.

Return to step one - feedback!

Getting feedback isn’t a one-time task. It’s always important, more so when it concerns mental health, and should always be at the forefront of your mind when introducing an employee benefit. Spill had a great feature where employees could submit anonymous feedback on the support they received, the platform functionality, and more.

Businesses need to focus more on mental health issues and employee wellbeing, especially in 2021 and beyond. With a huge variety of services available out there, addressing mental health and working to improve it doesn’t have to be challenging, even for a scaling business.

Thomas Forstner is the People and Talent Lead at Juro, the contract automation platform. Find out more about digital contracting.

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