Brain with gears A culture of connection and caring not only supports people to feel it’s OK to talk about mental health but actually encourages conversations around topics like stress, depression, anxiety, and mental health in general.

As most of the world slowly but surely emerges from the upheaval of the pandemic, skilled workers and top performers have recalibrated their views of what they expect in terms of benefits and culture. One clear expectation created from the pandemic is that the most sought-after employees want to work for companies that are committed to authentically connecting with, supporting, and caring for their people.

Inauthentic employer brands that use check-the-box programs to give themselves a gold star, or that simply pile on apps and tools because they’re cheap and shiny, won’t make the cut. Neither will companies that simply take a binary view of mental health. That’s the traditional, stigma-inciting yes-no perspective that goes something like this: A company bases its mental well-being programs on whether an employee is either mentally okay (in which case no programs or tools are needed) or not okay (in which case the employee is offered treatment-based care, like a referral to the employee assistance program).

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