Local leaders lean into employee wellness as top priority

Posted on 11/19/2020 by Austin Chamber

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2020 and launch in to 2021, our tech leaders share their focus on health and wellness, above and beyond the bottom line. We've gathered some of their tips and encouragement below, with themes centering on stress relievers and morale boosters, self-care, mediation and mindfulness practices, empathy, emotional intelligence, and reducing anxiety and burn-out.

  • The Accenture team keeps Zoom meetings upbeat with Wacky Wednesday

    Tamara Fields, Austin managing director at Accenture highlights a few of their other initiatives:

    • Fitness sessions: Pilates, yoga, core training, dance cardio, and Peloton running group
    • Game sessions, cooking classes and pet care sessions
    • Employee assistance program for counseling and childcare support, including support from “Mental Health Allies” and complimentary access to online therapy
    • Series of Happiness Workshops and mindfulness support with meditation techniques
    • “Hours That Help” allowing employees to donate accrued PTO to coworkers experiencing traumatic events

  • The GAP crew can't wait to get back to the good old days of in-person celebrations

    Growth Acceleration Partners CEO and co-founder Joyce Durst lists some of the ways they're engaging with employees:

    • Personal finance strategies and tips
    • Psychology services
    • Virtual classes: crafts, sewing, cooking, dog training, guitar, ukulele and cocktails
    • Workshops on resiliency
    • Strategies to cope with adversity

  • The Husch Blackwell team takes mask wearing and social distancing seriously

    Lorinda Holloway, office managing partner at Husch Blackwell shares the ways that they're focusing on employee wellness:

    • Wellness program – virtual 5K, Zoom yoga
    • Mindfulness practice
    • Highlight series of TED talks
    • Support services (pet sitter, housekeeper and caregiver search tools, extracurricular activities for children)
    • Parenting best practices, virtual homeschool strategies and experiences

  • The Techstars team in January of this year, which seems like forever ago

    Amos Schwartzfarb, managing director at Techstars Austin Accelerator has these tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance:

    • Wake up early and exercise
    • Turn 1-2 meetings a day into walking meetings on the phone
    • No work on the weekends (except for emergencies) – no catch up or 'get ahead'
    • Take the space for personal time
    • Separate living and workspaces - live your personal life without work interruption

  • Team culture is still very much a priority for WP Engine, even if it looks a little different than the days of group team photos

    For WP Engine's CEO Heather Brunner, implementing a variety of wellness and support programs is a priority:

    • Management virtual training sessions: best practices on managing remote teams
    • “Caregivers leave” allowing working parents and caregivers flexible work schedules
    • Wellness program: fitness challenges, meditation classes, health coaches
    • Virtual events: panel discussions on race, trivia nights, book clubs, and talent shows
    • Employee-led art class and mediation class, and live music performances

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Related Categories: Chamber, Membership, Innovate Austin