Why Employers Are the Last To Know When Employees Are Experiencing Mental Health Challenges

An interview on the reasons and solutions with Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Company.

Nina Tomaro | Marketing and Communications, Mind Share Partners

This article was orignally published on Mind Share Partners' "Mental Health at Work" section on Thrive Global.

A Deloitte study found 95% of participants who have had to take time off due to workplace stress felt unable to give their employer the real reason.

While many people understand the current stigma around mental health and culture of work keeps many employees from sharing their mental health challenges in the workplace, there are two main reasons underlying this issue that Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Company, and her team discovered.

Claire was a speaker at Mind Share Partners’ inaugural “Mental Health at Work Mini-Conference” in May. “Once a business leader understands the two main reasons why employees are not transparent about their mental health in the workplace,” Claire explained, “they can clear actions to create a culture of openness and honesty to remedy the stigma.”

Learn what the two research-backed reasons are that contribute to a lack of transparency around mental health in the workplace, and what leaders can do to solve this in this interview.

Q: Why did you start Know Your Company and how does it contribute to your understanding around employee feedback and company culture?

Claire: To start, Know Your Company is a software tool that helps managers and business owners get to know their employees better and become better leaders. I started this company because I was an employee before and found myself at a company where I felt the CEO at the time didn’t know his team and wasn’t the best leader. I felt like I couldn’t speak up and give feedback in m role on that team, so I quit my job.

I started a consulting practice working with CEOs to help them become better by getting to know their companies more. My first client was Basecamp. At the time, they felt like they didn’t know their company as well as they should, and not only did I have a consulting engagement with them, but found out they were building a software prototype, which is now Know Your Company. Once Basecamp built the software, it starting gaining traction and they asked me if I would be the CEO of Know Your Company. Now, I lead Know Your Company with Basecamp as a partner. Today, we help over 15,000 people in 25 countries get to know each other better and become better leaders through open feedback and asking the right questions.