Abby Matthews

Changing the narrative around mental health: how we use Spill at Juro

Business ops
October 4, 2022

Mental health has moved from a side topic to a core concern for employers in the past few years - understandably so, especially now that the way people work has drastically changed. 

Employees have gone from working in an office from Monday to Friday, to working remotely during lockdowns through the COVID-19 pandemic, to a hybrid model that can blur the lines between work life and home life.

Knowing how easy it is to talk to a professional gave me the confidence that my colleagues can express how they are feeling and get help if they need it. Spill has given us a platform to speak up

- Teddy Gillott, Account Executive, Juro

This has often resulted in:

  • An inability to switch off from work
  • Longer working hours
  • Heightened anxiety due to current affairs - the pandemic, the climate crisis, war in Ukraine, inflation and the looming recession
  • Increased pressure to thrive in this new working environment

As a result, mental health took a hit - made all the more worse by the fact that mental wellbeing isn’t normalized as a topic open for discussion in the workplace. 

It’s easy for employers to organize ‘pizza parties’ and ‘work drinks’ to keep morale high, but benefits like Spill make far more of a difference to employee wellbeing. It makes me feel valued as a person, rather than just as an employee

- Spill user, Juro

Mental health at a scaleup 🚀

At a scaling business, the smallest of decisions may have long-term impacts on culture and work life. At Juro we aim to take an intentional approach to as many people interactions as possible, from the offer letter template we use for our new joiners, to the micro-interactions in our CLM platform. With that approach in mind, how did we foster an environment at Juro where mental wellbeing was openly discussed, and a top priority for all employees? 

We knew that if there was a people problem, there would be a business problem - so the People & Talent (P&T) team set out to take preventative action that would improve mental wellbeing in the short and long term and help us succeed together. We decided to: 

  • Incorporate mental health discussions into 1:1 sessions between managers and their reports
  • Provide mental health training to all our managers
  • Offer a remote setup budget so employees can improve their workspace 

Alongside all this, we also implemented Spill as our mental health platform. 

Spill is a great reflection of our company’s values, and our P&T team’s efforts to implement benefits that genuinely impact everyone’s day-to-day wellbeing. There’s strong usage across the business which I think is encouraging for new joiners

- Jimmy Mooring, Customer Support Specialist, Juro

Mental health meets company culture 🤝

Some businesses define ‘company culture’ as the perks offered to employees - from bean bag chairs to foosball tables, to weekly drinks. At Juro we define it as the key ingredient that helps us work well together.

Implementing Spill to help colleagues address mental wellbeing as a mental wellbeing initiative has definitely had a positive impact on our company culture, encouraging:

  • Understanding: having therapy sessions available to all Jurors, alongside mental wellbeing questions in 1:1 sessions between managers and direct reports, enabled us to foster an environment where mental health is openly discussed
  • Alignment: we kicked off our Spill implementation with a Q&A and a demo from Spill’s Head of Brand and Marketing, Will Allen-Mersh. This helped us align the whole business on how Spill worked and how we could make the most of the platform. It also emphasized the importance of open discussion around mental wellbeing, instead of sweeping the topic (and associated benefits) under the rug, or offering only a unilateral approach
  • Inclusivity: finding a mental health platform that anyone could use regardless of location was a must-have, as a distributed business. We wanted something that our teams in Riga, London and remote employees could access as and when they needed. It was also important that Spill had other resources available for those who preferred to type instead of talk, or work through their problems with exercises as opposed to booking therapy sessions
  • Accessibility: the business uses Slack as its comms platform, so it was important to bring resources to the company’s platform of choice. We integrated Spill with Slack, so it’s accessible to all our employees within a few clicks
Booking a Spill session is so easy - this is a huge benefit and makes it really easy to access support quickly as and when you need it. The fact that Juro prioritized this type of benefit really makes me feel valued as a member of the team

- Melanie Carlisle-Moore, Account Executive, Juro

Normalizing the conversation: start small 🌱

Startups and scaling businesses need to make more of an effort to ensure that mental wellbeing is front of mind at the company. This doesn’t have to be a huge, transformational project - in fact, starting small will likely produce results more reliably.

For example, you could arrange a lunch ‘n learn session on health and wellbeing with a professional. Or pick ten employees at random to trial a mental health platform like Spill, using their feedback to find a solution that suits your business. You could also incorporate mental health questions into regular meetings, or provide training that can help employees detect signs of depression or anxiety.

And much more. 

Start with a pilot project, monitor closely, and request feedback whenever you can - these three steps can help you normalize the conversation around mental health. And by doing so, you can build a workplace people are excited to join - one where people can be happy and successful in the long term.

We're hiring! If you're interested in joining a high-growth scaleup that puts employees first, and was voted #1 startup to work for in London 2022, check out our careers page here.

Abby Matthews is a Senior People Partner at Juro

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