Culture Hack

Culture Hack

Here’s How Five Companies Are Providing Support For Their Employees’ Mental Health 

It’s no surprise that the past year has had a strong impact on most people’s mental health. The news provided an endless amount of stressful information, the uncertainty around the pandemic, and the awful amount of hate crimes made most feel stressed and anxious beyond control. In an effort to be there for their employees, a few companies offered means of support. 

During Mental Health Awareness month, we would like to highlight some of these companies and how they encouraged mental health among their employees. From providing therapeutic outlets to mental health days off, these businesses took the time and energy to prioritize wellness on all fronts. 

Microsoft and Extra Paid Days Off

Microsoft’s HR chief Kathleen Hogan was tasked with observing employees’ experiences during the pandemic. According to Hogan’s research, employees were in dire need of time to rest and recharge after remote working days during quarantine. But, with the standard vacation of sick days, there was no real space for time to just relax and find balance. 

In response to this lack of time, Hogan launched company-wide “Wellbeing Days”: five additional paid days for employees to take care of themselves. Though the extra days expire on December 31st of this year, employees are free to use this time to do whatever is most beneficial to their general health and wellness. Hogan reports that nearly 80% of their employees also feels supported by their work managers, making for a more efficient workflow during such uncertainty.

TransferWise and Virtual Support

With over 2,000 employees, global technology company TransferWise has a good reputation for employee benefits, including six weeks of paid leave for employees who have been with the company for four years, generous maternity and paternity leaves, and commuter benefits. The care for their employees has only improved since the start of the pandemic.

TransferWise offered a variety of different virtual services to their employees to give them the support and wellness outlets they need. One of the major benefits they offered were free counseling sessions with mental health professionals. The company also gave all of its employees a 50% off discount for meditation and mindfulness app Headspace. The company also hosted a plethora of wellness events via Zoom, such as yoga, book clubs, and even dance classes. 

SoFi and Free Therapy Sessions

Online personal finance company, Social Finance (or SoFi), is known for its mobile-first service that provides a variety of financial products to its users. Though the company prioritizes virtual services, its leaders recognized the stresses that remote work put on its employees as well as their families. In response to these hard times, the company decided to be there for their people.

At the start of the pandemic, SoFi started to offer employees and up to three of their family members over the age of 18 access to Modern Health, a virtual mental health platform. The company also includes in-network coverage for mental health providers in employee health plans, which would make continuing therapy sessions easier. Additionally, SoFi hosted sessions that discussed the range of digital resources such as meditation.

Target and Health Resources

If you think back to the first week of the nationwide quarantine, you might be overwhelmed by images of stores being unbelievably crowded with people stocking up. Imagine not only being in those crowded stores daily but also being tasked with supplying essential goods. Employees at Target were putting their health and safety on the line to provide it to others, which prompted its higher ups to support these COVID-era heroes. 

Target began offering all of its US employees access to online mential, emotional, and physical health services for free. This included free access to Daylight — a platform dedicated to helping users navigate stress — and Sleepio — an app that gives users the self-help tools to improve their sleep. Target also offered free virtual fitness classes via Wellbeats and continued its pre-pandemic EAP program that offers five free counseling sessions. 

Verizon Media and Inspiring Others

In partnership with Kellogg Company, Snap, and Spotify, Verizon Media launched an initiative called Mind Together — a coalition of brands dedicated to acknowledging mental health and creating a new standard for how employees are treated. According to Verizon’s CEO Guru Gowrappan, the company recognized mental health as a global crisis and that they needed to remove the stigma of corporate mental health. 

Each of the founding companies has their own responsibility, from increasing the awareness in the corporate world, educating others through mental health learning programs, and hosting ongoing conversations about mental health with experts. 



Though supporting employees may come in a number of different shapes and sizes, the goal is ultimately the same: to help people feel their best and to find the definition of mental wellness that fits their lifestyle.