This stage is about standing out as a progressive and caring employer versus competitors, helping to attract and retain the very best people.
Position the company as progressive
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Now we're getting there: we're abiding by the law, avoiding active harm, and taking concrete steps to build psychological safety for all employees. We're providing support and seeing tangible benefits on team performance. The final step is to use your platform as an employer to try and raise the bar when it comes to workplace mental health, and in doing so move the wider culture forward.
There are benefits to your company in doing this. Most specifically, the employer brand. As we discussed in the introduction, we've come a long way from when a job just meant clocking in and out for a paycheck. Now that more and more jobs — especially in startups — are service-based and intellectual, and people are deriving more of their sense of identity and fulfillment from work, people want more than just a salary from their employer. They want to feel looked after and cared for.
And sure, flashy benefits can help to some extent. Yoga classes, free dinners and ping pong tables (back when we were in the office full time — remember that?) sound cool when mentioned to friends. But aren't they just thinly veiled excuses to keep people working longer hours without complaining?
We believe that the most desirable companies to work at in the next 5, 10, 20 years will be those that take a proactive and pioneering approach to caring for their employees as whole humans — not just as headcount.
And aside from boosting your own employer brand, there's a wider knock-on effect. The more companies that take a strong and active approach to mental health, the more it becomes expected by people. The more it stands a chance of becoming fully normalised.
How can you go above and beyond to move the needle? We'll run through some specific ideas for initiatives on the next page.