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Let’s start off on the right foot

“Love all you see, including yourself.” – Hale Makua


The skinny

According to research from the National Alliance of Mental Health, 60% of U.S. counties do not have a single practicing psychiatrist.

Kind of like a food desert?

Exactly. (ICYMI: Food deserts are areas of the U.S. with no close by grocery stores or easy access to fresh, healthy food.)

 The Dr. is not in.

Nope. And with the surge of mental health needs, the fragmented, expensive, and often under-resourced mental health care system cannot meet growing demand.  

Guessing it’s worse for some…

Right again. Despite employers recognizing the growing and imperative need for mental health resources, many diverse populations simply can’t use their mental health benefits. For example, take a long-haul truck driver vs a marketing executive based in a large city. One probably has a therapist on speed dial while the other struggles to find a time/place/person to help them with their mental health needs.            

**pressing 7**

The therapist will Zoom now. For the vast majority of people affected by mental health difficulties, having easy access to care when and where they need it can make a huge difference. Plus, digital solutions based on cognitive and behavior techniques offer those who worry about the “stigma”of going to therapy a different way to get help.

A digital therapist?

In a way. Think of an app that leads you through breathing exercises if you’re having a panic attack. Or a web-based group of on-demand professionals you can call or text if you’re having a crisis. But there’s more to this story.

My therapist said, no cliff hangers.

Ok, basically it can’t be all or nothing. Some people aren’t comfortable with digital solutions just as some people aren’t comfortable with traditional. It’s a tight-rope-balancing operation of creating a more inclusive model that is more “all of the above” and less about one-size-fits-all (we all know those socks are bs). Plus, embracing non-traditional mental health care interventions that may not look or feel like therapy will be the key to reach those often forgotten.

Date with data: Half of the 60,000,000 adults and children living with mental health conditions go without treatment in the U.S.

Double date: Only 31% of employees feel like their employer has taken steps to support their mental health.

Totes quotes: “Part of this is making sure that vulnerable Americans know that somebody is on their side.” –Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon.

Further reading: How mental health has changed in the workplace.

The skinny

Recognition is becoming more and more important to retaining employees.

Ya don’t say.

Have I told you how well you’re doing recently? Recognition for a job well done isn’t a new or cutting-edge leadership technique, but it’s a classic. Just like Ugg boots, the chevron pattern, and cargo shorts.  

Wow, cheugie much?

You’re a cheug! Anyway. Working from home makes it harder to give recognition. 64% of employees say recognition and appreciation are even more important to them when working from home. But only 24% say their organization has implemented new ways to recognize them.

All work and no recognition…

Not a good thing. Showing recognition is also a great way to build loyalty, especially with Millennials. 79% of Millennials say that an increase in recognition would make them more loyal to their employer. And employers better start laying on the butter, because if not, the bread is going bye bye. 

Oh, you’re cutting carbs?

Not this time. But with burnout on the rise, many are predicting that over half of employees are planning on getting a new job this year, up from 35% last year. Employers need to start recognizing and say “I loaf you” before it’s too late.

Ok, butter me.

That’s the spirit. First things first, employers need to start embracing social recognition. With more employees working remotely, online communities and social recognition platforms are a great way to make recognition highly visible, easy, and timely.  

What else?

Another oldie but goodie, saying thank you. It sounds too simple to make the list but thank you can really go a long way. A Deloitte study revealed that 85% of professionals want to hear “thank you” in day-to-day interactions. It’s a no-cost, high-reward way of letting your employees know you appreciate their hard work. But it’s often overlooked and easy to forget. Unlike May.

Thank you.

No, no, thank you, for measuring. Putting effort to recognize your employees is one step in the right direction, but it’s also important to measure your results to ensure your organization is getting measurable ROI. By tracking the effectiveness of your recognition strategy, you can determine which areas might benefit from optimization or if something isn’t working.  

Totes quotes: “People are reconsidering and reevaluating their priorities and the way that their organization is supporting their well-being and the balance that they have in their lives.” –Dr. Natalie Baumgartner, Chief Workforce Scientist at Achievers.

Further reading: How to keep employees happy.


The skinny

Some employees are embarking on the YOLO adventure track, instead of staying in the workforce.


Oh no, not you, too. Something strange is happening to the exhausted, type-A thirty something workers of America.  

What’s happening?

They’re basically saying, “eff it” and abandoning their jobs to start new businesses, turn a side hustle into a full-time gig, or finally working on their novel.

What about $?

Good question. Many, surprisingly, saved up some cash during the lockdown so they are taking more risks in the job market and some, are leaving the career treadmill altogether.

But why?

Perspective. The pandemic changed the way many people thought about their time and how they want to spend it. That career treadmill can be numbing, and not in a good way. It can take a huge environmental earthquake to shake that feeling of numbness and burnout and then make a change.


In the end, it doesn't even matter. If “languishing” is 2021’s dominant emotion, YOLOing may be the year’s defining workforce trend. Employers are noticing and they’re trying to halt the YOLO boat.  


Well, for one, LinkedIn recently gave the majority of its employees a paid week off and Twitter employees have been given an extra day off per month to recharge under a program called #DayofRest. Credit Suisse gave its junior bankers $20,000 “lifestyle allowances” while others received all-expenses-paid vacations.  

Wow, fancy.

Indeed. While raises and time off may persuade some employees to stay, others are more affected by the “stuck” feeling and want to shake it up and do something completely different. This could end up causing a hiring shortage in some industries.

That's a throwback.

Yeah, remember those? The fact is, the organizations that tried to brush trauma aside and keep moving forward, “business as usual” are going to see the most employee turnover in the coming months. Adventure is in the air.

Totes quotes: “The past year has been telling for how companies really value their work forces. It has become challenging to continue to work for companies who operate business as usual, without taking into account how our lives have changed overnight.” —Latesha Byrd, a career coach in Charlotte, N.C.

Totes two: “We’ve all had a year to evaluate if the life we’re living is the one we want to be living. Especially for younger people who have been told to work hard, pay off your loans and someday you’ll get to enjoy your life, a lot of them are questioning that equation. What if they want to be happy right now?” —Christina Wallace, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.

Quiz: Are you flourishing? 

Now a break from the news…

Trees can talk to each other. #Firreal.

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