New Relic

Workshop Case Study

New Relic is a cloud-based observability platform built to create more perfect software. Engineering teams rely on New Relic to move faster, make better decisions and create best-in-class digital experiences.

New Relic partnered with Mind Share Partners to bring a two-session Manager Training Series to their Portland Office Managers.

Summary

Industry:        Technology
                         
SaaS

 

Size:                 ~2,000 employees
 

Location:         Portland, OR

Time frame:   September 2019, February 2020

Result highlights:

  • 92% of managers felt more comfortable talking about mental health at work after the training.
     

  • Managers reported having a better understanding of their role as a manager in creating a mentally healthy culture and in supporting a struggling team member after the training.

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The Situation

​WHAT THE ORGANIZATION WAS FACING

New Relic has a strong history of building an inclusive culture for their employees, and its team sees mental health as a core part of creating a supportive culture in which all employees can thrive. They also understand from a business perspective that supporting mental health positively impacts productivity and retention.

In 2019, a small group of employees started a grassroots effort to explore ways to support neurodiversity and employee mental health at New Relic. They worked closely with their HR and legal teams early on and were able to host a variety of activities including:

  • Launching the NeuRelics Employee Resource Group (ERG) for neurodiversity (including mental health), with an executive sponsor who was visible and committed to the work

  • A panel discussion where the NeuRelics ERG members told stories of their own mental health experiences

  • An internal mental health resource guide
     

As the ERG and attention to mental health at New Relic grew, the organization saw a heightened need for and desire of managers to be equipped with the skills to support their employees’ mental health in the workplace.
 

“I want to make sure we [support] the great people we have no matter what challenges they are going through. As a human it would really hurt me to know that someone on my team didn’t feel comfortable coming forward and asking for help."
- New Relic senior leader

New Relic considered other mental health training offerings, but saw Mind Share Partners’ approach as aligned with its focus on creating an inclusive culture that helps employees and the company thrive—above and beyond responding to crises.

“From the beginning, I was very impressed by [Mind Share Partners’ framing], which included not only how many people are impacted by mental illness/mental health challenges, but also the real financial impacts to businesses when they choose not to focus on mental health."

- Rachel Parrott, Manager of Inclusion and Diversity

The Solution

​WHAT WE PROVIDED

Mind Share Partners provided a two-part manager training series, including discovery conversations and leader ally coaching. The training sessions used scenarios, storytelling, and role-plays to create an engaging and informative experience.

Topics covered included:

  • Understanding mental health and its impact in the workplace

  • Identifying workplace situations where mental health may be playing a role, and what to do about it

  • How to create a mentally healthy team culture, including how to have healthy, productive conversations about mental health with colleagues (particularly as it intersects with performance).

  • Crafting individual action plans to apply the learning within their teams

"Managers set the tone for what is expected on a team, and they are the first line of defense at work against the stigma of mental illness.

 

It is imperative that our managers to be trained on how to see signs their employees are struggling and understand how to have those conversations in a compassionate way."

 

- Rachel Parrott, Manager of Inclusion and Diversity

The Impact

Mind Share Partners’ manager training series had a significant impact in catalyzing culture change and empowering managers to open the dialogue around mental health at New Relic to better support their employees.

After the training sessions, 92% of managers felt more comfortable talking about mental health at work. Managers also reported having a better understanding of their role as a manager in creating a mentally healthy culture and in supporting a struggling team member after the training.

 

“I learned that a lot of my assumptions about mental health are wrong,” and another, “The tone was real and connected to my experience as a human and as a manager.”

- New Relic managers

Managers play a critical role in employee experience and are often the first point of contact when employees disclose mental health challenges. Increasing their comfort and confidence in supporting their employees as well as creating a supportive culture broadly was a key marker to success.

 

When I struggled with my own mental health at work, my manager was the first one to step up, empathize, and find a path forward.

 

I want all employees to feel that kind of safety and trust talking with their managers. So many people suffer in silence, and when managers are informed and up to speed on mental health practices, it's a way for the employees to not have to suffer alone and/or unsupported."

- Rachel Parrott, Manager of Inclusion and Diversity

In their vision forward, New Relic hopes to expand the reach of trainings for mental health at work to remote managers, other leaders, future managers, executives, and their HR team.
 

“[Mind Share Partners] is so responsive and understanding, which was really needed when trying to approach a topic that is scary and could be a liability. The amount of collaboration that went into even the smallest details made me sure that we were doing right by our business and our employees.

 

The customization, very quick turnaround, and empathy and understanding for businesses straddling the line between compliance and care felt uniquely useful in addition to it being a fantastic business relationship.”

- Rachel Parrott, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
 

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