This week we’re sharing the stories of workplaces that are putting mental health at the top of their agenda.
First up is Olark, a live chat software company based in the US.
The company’s CEO Ben Congleton was catapulted into the spotlight this June when he received an email from his employee Madalyn saying she needed to take a couple of days off to look after her mental health.
His response was to praise her for her openness. She shared his reply on Twitter and the pair has been inundated with support.
“Like many people, I’ve experienced mental health issues both directly in my own life, and as a part of others’ lives and support systems,” says Congleton.
“At Olark some of our best performers have faced burnout and worked through longer-term mental health challenges.
I wanted Madalyn to understand how much I appreciated her bravery, and I wanted to call out that I knew how hard it is to be direct about mental health.
“Madalyn’s openness has helped us build the strong, inclusive and high-performing culture we have at Olark.
“I don’t think of mental health support as a ‘nice-to-have’ or a drain on resources – it’s the exact opposite.
” Employees are simply more productive when they feel safe, trust each other and are empowered to take the steps they need to care for themselves.”