. Case Study .
Size: 1,000 - 1,500 employees
Location: Tysons, Virginia (U.S.)
Time frame: January 2021 - July 2021
Mind Share Partners Institute for HRBP team members
Two “Ask Me Anything” manager conversations
Two live scenario sessions for managers
Leader ally coaching
Creation of “How are you…really?” campaign from the Mind Share Partners Institute capstone project.
Launch of a mental health employee resource group (ERG) called CARE (Courage Across Real Experiences).
Increase in Alarm.com employees’ comfort around having conversations about mental health, achieving their year one goals that included normalizing mental health conversations and creating an environment where employees felt comfortable talking about mental health with managers.
In 2020, Alarm.com’s HRBP team decided to prioritize workplace mental health, with the support of company leadership, after noticing that employees across seniority levels were struggling with various mental health concerns. In addition to the challenges of the pandemic—including the increased burden on caregivers—employees were navigating social injustice issues affecting their communities. Alarm.com realized they needed a strategy beyond their existing resources, and Mind Share Partners was highly recommended by a colleague of a Mind Share Partners client who had participated in the training.
Starting in January 2021, Alarm.com partnered with Mind Share Partners to set the foundation to reduce stigma, spark conversations around mental health, and support their HR team in developing the knowledge and skills to support employee mental health.
Certification of Alarm.com’s HR team in Mind Share Partners Institute was pivotal to learning key skills and developing an actionable strategy to support employee mental health.
Leader Ally Coaching was included for one of Alarm.com’s executives to help create a culture of support and allyship. Mind Share Partners worked with this executive to forge a path for this agenda to be discussed within the leadership team based on the idea that leadership support is one of the most crucial elements to adopting successful mental health practices at work.
“Ask me anything” Conversations (two 90-minute live, virtual sessions) were held for managers at Alarm.com introducing tools to help give managers support themselves, navigate challenging conversations for their team, and discuss key questions they had about workplace mental health. Mind Share Partners provided language and pre-reads to help managers understand and prepare for the sessions.
Live Scenario Sessions (two, 90-minute virtual sessions) were held for Alarm.com managers following each “Ask me anything” conversation to dive deeper into common manager scenarios and action planning. These scenarios and topics were tailored to Alarm.com’s manager questions and responses to a survey shared during the “Ask me anything” conversations.
Strategy and awareness campaign. Thirteen members of Alarm.com’s HR and L&D teams completed Mind Share Partners Institute. The Institute gave their teams the roadmap needed to put their ideas into action. Their capstone project—a final project within the Institute program that allows participants to put what they’ve learned into practice—was a year-long campaign called “How are you…really?” The campaign was designed to help employees and managers talk more openly about mental health challenges and support each other in overcoming them.
Launch of ERG. Alarm.com also launched greater internal support for their employees, including an internal Mental Health Employee Resource Group called CARE, mental health tech, and virtual holistic health services with a focus on both mind and body.
Broader cultural impacts. After the “Ask Me Anything” sessions, Alarm.com saw an increase in employee’s comfort around having conversations about mental health and a mindset shift towards greater openness in talking about mental health across the organization. Their HRBP team continues to spark these conversations both through their “How are you really…campaign” and by sparking these conversations within their teams to check-in.
“Having that outline gave us a starting point that we were able to quickly implement and put into action. It was particularly beneficial to have figured out key elements like leadership buy-in, budgeting, and goals/vision/mission in advance. It meant when the institute ended, we could get right to work—we had a clear roadmap. We have since then expanded the program and the discussion around mental health is becoming part of our culture and every day.” - Glenna Abend, Manager, Learning Programs
“Even today there's a lot going on within the HRBP team. I recently stopped my team meeting to ask ‘How are you…really?’ and we went around the room and it was just interesting to see how everyone was sharing “I'm stressed,” or “I'm overwhelmed.” We were all feeling the same way, so I asked, “Okay, so what can we do to support each other?” I know I'm not the only team leader asking those questions anymore.” - Michelle Cipolla-Feinstein, Sr. Director Human Resources
Alarm.com employees are sharing how they are doing with their managers, and managers have new tools to provide and improve support to their teams. Leadership is also continuing to offer the resources and support to managers so that they can continue taking the steps to support their teams effectively and sustainably.
Looking forward, Alarm.com is continuing to build, iterate and improve their current mental health strategy. They are developing more training and workshops to support managers, including training on supporting their team members who open a conversation about mental health with them.
“We hope to continue iterating and expanding on our capstone and continuing to build out programming that not only normalizes talking about mental health at work, but also supports a holistic approach to overall wellbeing.” - Glenna Abend, Manager, Learning Programs
For other firms starting their own work in mental health, Alarm.com advises:
“Start small, do as much planning as you can in advance, and be prepared to pivot based on employee response.” Alarm.com started small with the “How are you…really?” campaign and utilized Mind Share Partners Institute to plan ahead. “Planning ahead allows you to be organized and present to employees that you are on top of things, which will go a long way in garnering their buy-in and trust.” - Glenna Abend, Manager, Learning Programs
“We look forward to working with Mind Share Partners again! Our goal in year one was to normalize conversations around mental health and create an environment where our employees feel comfortable talking about mental health with their managers and each other. We were largely successful and now that employees feel comfortable sharing their mental health challenges with their managers, we’d like to provide additional training to our managers about the next steps they should take. The partnership and guidance from Mind Share Partners has been extremely helpful throughout our journey, I would highly recommend them to anyone who is looking to learn about mental health.”
- Michelle Cipolla-Feinstein, Sr. Director Human Resources, Alarm.com