Creating an Authentic Culture of Care in a Remote World
A case study of Altus Assessments
Fear of decreased physical and social activity during the winter months and the impacts that could have on mental health
Supporting employee wellbeing long term with a hybrid/remote team
Offering consistent and comprehensive wellness programming with Cyno
Giving employees direct access to a network of wellness providers to choose from
Dedicated Account Manager to ensure a smooth onboarding, encourage engagement and provide ongoing support to the HR team
Access to regular reports to help gauge employee sentiment and informdecisions
Employees can access any type of wellness support they need from the comfort of their home
Providing access to "life-changing care"
High levels of satisfaction and utilization
For the past couple of years, HR teams everywhere have struggled to maintain a healthy corporate culture while everyone is working from home.
It can be hard to encourage a happy, healthy environment over video calls when you have a distributed team, and in-house wellness initiatives just never seem to move the dial.
This case study will illustrate the positive impacts that a comprehensive Employee Wellness Plan (EWP) can have not only on your employees' health, but also on the efficiency and efficacy of your HR team. We found that the two keys to fostering an authentic culture of care are giving your staff the tools they need to provide real support and giving your employees access to everything they need to succeed at home.
Since the start of the pandemic, Gallup, a global analytics and consulting firm, had been studying the experiences, needs and future plans of more than 140,000 U.S. employees. Their findings show an overwhelming majority of people opting for hybrid/remote roles while fully on-site positions are becoming far less desirable. While only 40% of respondents were hybrid/remote before the pandemic, there is now a whopping 91% stating that is their preferred work arrangement. Companies everywhere are now embracing this new flexible work environment to both attract and retain talent, but in a lot of cases this comes at the expense of company culture and employee wellness.
As we move to this new hybrid working environment, companies are seeing employees struggle with mental health, physical health and wellbeing. While the appeal of remote work is lifestyle flexibility, with this comes the challenge of decreased movement, less social interaction, and poor nutritional habits. As a result, companies around the world are searching for a comprehensive solution that can be offered to employees anywhere they are working, whether it's at an office or at home.
PREFERRED WORK LOCATION OF EMPLOYEES
Altus is a leading program management and data analytics solution used by over 400 academic partners around the world. The Altus platform helps academic programs identify, select, and nurture learners on their journey to becoming exceptional professionals. From research-based admissions assessments to complete, contextual data sets for actionable insights on programs and learners, Altus enables higher education programs to make informed, defensible decisions.
In the fall of 2020, companies around the globe began realizing that remote work wasn’t “just for now” anymore, that they were adjusting to a new way of life rather than just waiting to get back in the office. This, along with the winter months approaching, brought about concerns for the decrease in activity and social interaction that comes with the cold weather.
Altus found that the stress and isolation of adjusting to work-from-home was somewhat alleviated during the spring and summer months. Folks could go outside, get active outdoors, and spend time with loved ones. However, they feared that their people would be cooped up inside for the long winter months and wanted to provide all the tools they might need to support them in that.
Altus decided to offer their people an Employee Wellness Plan (EWP) with Cyno. This enabled them to give their employees access to everything wellness in one place, and the power to choose what they need without having to face any barriers to care.
“Cyno enabled us to provide both the mental health support (psychologists, counsellors, life/career coaches, etc.), with the added bonus of physical wellness practitioners (fitness instructors, personal trainers, nutritionists, cooking classes, etc.).
We soon learned about all the other available support that Cyno could provide to our team (financial advisors, meditation sessions, social events, etc.) and knew we had to give this a try!”
Cyno is increasing the accessibility and convenience of healthcare. The EWP supports corporations who wish to extend virtual wellness services to their employees. Through the EWP, corporations gain access to the Cyno platform to book live one-on-one or group health & wellness services with a wide range of providers.
Traditional corporate benefits are the same for every employee and not nearly enough attention is paid to the individual. Cyno prides itself on the vast array of choice we offer to employees searching for an individualized path to their wellness. We give people the ability to build their own team of wellness experts to meet with as much as they need.
Altus employee count: 165
Within the first half of 2022, 1/3 of their company had used Cyno. Altus employees booked 343 appointments on the Cyno platform, 42 of these bookings were for group classes and 301 were for 1-on-1 sessions.
It is worth noting the types of services that employees were drawn to book:
Mental Health services constituted a majority of all bookings. This category includes services such as therapy, psychotherapy, counselling, art therapy, music therapy, meditation, life coaching and more!
Fitness services accounted for about 1/3 of their bookings in this time, with Altus employees opting mostly for private fitness sessions
Nutrition services were also used a considerable amount. This includes everything from personal diet consultations to group cooking classes.
Financial wellness consults also accounted for a small amount of their overall usage
"Just on a human level, we are often struck by how much the Cyno memberships means to our team members. We hear their stories and how Cyno has helped them in immeasurable ways. It truly means the world to us to be able to provide (in some cases) pretty life-changing care."
- Kari Bell, Senior Manager People & Culture
1. The value placed on benefits in today’s working environment
It became evident that both the HR team and employees alike found value in Cyno for different reasons:
The HR team is able to use it as a fantastic talent acquisition tool in order to set them apart from the competition. They use insightful usage stats to gauge their company climate and are able to make more informed decisions on where to focus their efforts. It also ensures that their employees feel valued and shows that Altus truly adheres to their primary core value of ‘Caring’ for their people
The employees value it as a core part of their compensation and a place they can depend on to find support whenever they need it - without having to worry about the cost. It gives people in any situation the ability to find whatever they need from the comfort of their home. The usage stats and testimonials also indicate that they value direct access to one-on-one mental health sessions a ton, constituting more than half of their total usage of the platform
3. Importance of removing barriers to care
Another key reason for the usage of our platform is the removal of all those barriers people usually face when trying to access care. Employees will never have to struggle to find someone in their area, worry about finding time in their schedule to commute to an appointment or stress about affording the help they need
The stigma associated with needing help in any way is usually the biggest barrier people face when wanting to improve themselves. This is why the privacy of our users is our #1 priority and keeping all user data anonymous ensures they never have to be worried to come to us for support
2. The more you can offer, the more you can engage
One of the main reasons Cyno can achieve usage rates like this is because of the breadth of services we offer. We pride ourselves on having something for everyone, as the only way to truly engage your diverse employee base is to make sure there is choice. Choice in an array of different disciplines, different providers, different services and even the ability to pick the times yourself so it all fits in your calendar. Every employee has different needs, wants, and schedules. Rather than taking a cookie cutter approach to benefits, let them create their own wellness plan
"During these stressful times, I love that budget isn't a factor when I decide how much help I need with my mental health."
- Altus Employee