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A Q&A with Deborah V. Toby, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Administrative Services at Cinnaire

How does Cinnaire understand employee mental health as contributing to the work environment? As a rule, and in keeping with our people-first culture, we’ve made the health an…

How does Cinnaire understand employee mental health as contributing to the work environment?

As a rule, and in keeping with our people-first culture, we’ve made the health and well-being of employees our highest priority. The current pandemic only reinforced our commitment to our people’s well-being. We recognized early on that they were experiencing an extraordinary amount of change that placed unprecedented stress on their health. At Cinnaire, we think of health holistically; there is no distinction between physical and mental health. It was very clear to us that we needed to support our people with all the tools available to help them maintain their overall well-being. We value each of our people, so there’s no room for throwaways.

 

How does Cinnaire support its employees’ mental health?

We are deliberate in ensuring our people understand their and their family’s health comes first. Our health care benefits include mental health services. Our employee assistance program provides face-to-face sessions; unlimited tele-counseling and comprehensive web-based mental health resources, including self-assessments; extensive content on personal health; and tools to help with personal, relational, legal and financial concerns.

At Cinnaire, our people work hard. To be able to give their best and live a well-balanced life, they need time. In recognition of this, we afford them the flexibility to take planned vacations and personal time off as necessary through our unlimited personal-time-off benefit.

Throughout this pandemic, we’ve reminded our people they must make extra efforts to allow for flexibility in their normal work schedules to ensure their mental health. Employees with children and/or in housing that isn’t conducive to working have benefited from the ability to flex their schedules.

We established a refresh/recharge Friday schedule. Every other month, we close, and we designated the Monday after as “No Meetings Monday.” We encourage our teams to designate Zoom happy hours for building and maintaining personal relationships.

 

What is on the horizon for Cinnaire in promoting employee well-being as the world continues to change?

We’ve recognized the shift in where and how we work is with us indefinitely, if not permanently. We made the decision to move to a hybrid work environment. We believe providing our people with this choice is a powerful catalyst for their well-being.

We know this will spur a dramatic behavioral and cultural shift, requiring our leadership to model a more inclusive approach. We will work differently to unlock the opportunity for more diverse and evenly distributed teams. This is an opportunity to level the playing field for employees with diverse backgrounds and a means of dramatically improving employee engagement.

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