Reframing workplace well-being

We recognize that we can’t effectively help millions back to good mental health if we don’t first take care of our team.

The average length of time employees are logged into their computer has increased by two hours per day since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, 61% of remote workers are finding it more difficult to “unplug” from their work, and 39% report regularly checking their emails during non-work hours (…guilty). 

At Big Health, we’re focused on bringing millions back to good mental health. Achieving this mission takes hard work and the tenacity to move mountains. But as we’ve seen over the past 12 months, if not balanced with care and consideration, too much hard work can become detrimental to our employees’ overall mental health. With Mental Health Awareness Month in our rear-view mirror we’d like to share the work we’re doing year-round to support the well-being of our team by improving their experience at work. 

Why are we doing this work?

In December 2020 we reviewed data — both from an internal survey, as well as research done by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultants at The Justice Collective. The results of the surveys revealed that Big Health employees were feeling “burned out,” “fried,” and “unable to prioritize [their] well-being.” After seeing these results, our executive team immediately moved employee well-being to the top of the priority list. But in order to feel confident discussing workplace well-being across the company, we needed to establish a shared language. Based on external research and countless conversations with our team, we arrived at a well-being model and survey that helps us do that, called FRAME.

FRAME Model of Well-being

Arriving at FRAME 

We arrived at the FRAME model in the same way we solve all problems at Big Health: by taking an evidence-based, research-backed approach. After direction from members of our clinical, research and medical affairs teams, we based our model largely on Martin Seligman’s PERMA model of well-being and the concept of control from Christina Maslach’s burnout research, with the goal of ensuring that our final product reflected our priority to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Our model was designed to be specific and memorable so that everyone on the team would feel comfortable discussing it.

Applying the FRAME model

Though defining well-being was an important step, fostering employee well-being is and will be an ongoing initiative. While Big Health already attends to FRAME through initiatives like our professional development fund and time off, quarterly goal cycles, and our #big-thanks Slack channel, we’ve added some additional initiatives recently aimed at improving employee well-being. 

  • Manager training: Because managers have a big impact on the well-being of employees, we partnered with LifeLabs Learning to lead a series of manager trainings on topics that contribute to feelings of accomplishment, such as developmental feedback, coaching, and effective one on ones. Additionally, we’ve started hosting Lunch & Learns for our managers to reflect on and share strategies for how they encourage healthy working practices on their teams. 
  • Flex Friday’s: We announced a summer-long experiment we’re calling Flex Fridays, where for one Friday a month we put the control firmly in the hands of our team. Employees will receive no Slack messages, no emails, and hold no meetings. They can use this day for time with their kids, errands, volunteering, learning and development, or to unplug completely. 

These two initiatives provide a glimpse into our ongoing effort to support the mental health of our team by creating a positive workplace experience. We’ll continue to evolve as we unpack results from our bi-annual Well-being Survey and Lattice pulse surveys, as well as listen to the needs of our employees during company wide reviews and HR office hours. We recognize that we can’t effectively help millions back to good mental health if we don’t first take care of our team. 

We’re hiring! If you are excited by the opportunity to chart the future of digital medicine, come join us. 

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Owen Somerfeld

Owen Somerfeld

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