The Importance of Employee Well-being: Strategies for Promoting Mental Health

In today’s fast-paced world, prioritizing employee well-being is no longer just a trend; it’s a necessity for sustainable success. This rings especially true in dynamic industries like gaming, where creativity, innovation, and collaboration are paramount. In addition, the gaming industry, unlike other more “traditional” industries seems more volatile, this is in part due to rapid technological advancements, changing consumer trends and fast paced developments in demand, high competition between developers, the dependency on Hit Products or ” The Next Big Thing” to survive, as well as the impact of the regulatory environment and economic downturns or fluctuations that can affect consumer spending habits.

All these factors influence the gaming industry’s stability and growth prospects, and as such has a direct impact on the feeling of wellbeing and stability of individuals working in the industry. A big factor of motivation for those making games is the passion and emotional connection they have to the products they awork on, this certainly supports their resilience, however coping with instability and in the worst case, the end of a beloved project, can take a toll on mental health.

“More than two thirds (69%) of employees said their manager impacts their mental health more than their doctor (51%) or therapist (41%), and the same as for a spouse or partner.” – UKG’s Workforce Institute as cited in HR Magazine

These are all reasons why at YAGER we feel mental health is critical to support. Mental health is health and like our health, it is not linear or constant. All humans go through ups and downs, a mental health crisis can be overcome with the right support and when one is not stigmatised for it. In such a diverse company, with over 30 nationalities, we have taken a broad approach to this topic to make sure we are providing lots of varied support as there is not a one-size-fits all solution for how individuals experience and cope with stressors.

Recognizing the significance of employee well-being, at YAGER we implement various effective strategies to promote mental health.

  1. Flexible Work Arrangements: We embrace flexibility in work arrangements to accommodate the diverse needs of employees. This includes flexible hours, hybrid and remote work options, or shorter workweeks, allowing employees to better manage their work-life balance and reduce stress.
  2. Wellness Benefits and Activities: We promote holistic wellness through Wellness Benefits tailored to employees’ interests and needs. This includes two different gym memberships giving employees access to a network of over 6,000 sports and wellness offers, health related workshops, team-building exercises, on-site massages and recreational activities that encourage physical activity and social connection.

  3. Mental Health Training for Managers: We provide training to all new managers to recognize signs of distress and effectively support employees who may be struggling with mental health issues. We try to equip all our managers with the skills and resources needed to have meaningful conversations about mental health and facilitate access to appropriate support services.

  4. Resource Library: We feel it is important to de-stigmatise mental health issues and provide a long selection of tried and tested resources to support employees on their mental health journey. From tips on how to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), adult ADHD resources and how to find support for family members, our constantly growing list of resources is accessible to all employees.

  5. Hands on Support: Our People & Culture team provide fast and confidential support to help our employees find suitable therapeutic support. Whether this is helping to call and arrange appointments with therapists or walking our employees through the process of getting their private therapy reimbursed be health insurance, we help!

  6. Employee Assistance Programme: Free and anonymous for employees and their family members, we work with the well-known Employee Assistance Program Fürstenberg Institute, which provides legal advice, medical advice, debtor and bankruptcy advice, performance and life coaching, counselling and conflict moderation, couples therapy as well as emergency and crisis management support.

  7. Employee Representatives: At YAGER the employees are represented by a democratically elected group of employees who meet regularly with company management to share concerns of employees, anonymously if they wish. Besides the People&Culture team, the ER team is another contact point for employees wishing to share and seek help for things that are bothering them.

  8. Family Care Leave Days: It can be tough taking care of elderly relatives or children and manage work at the same time. To reduce the burden on our employees YAGER provides 5 additional days of leave for the purpose of Family Care (a year) without the need for a doctor’s note. This helps our employees because they can take the time, they need to take care of their families without being stressed by losing vacation days or having to prioritize work over family welfare.

  9. Mental Health First Aiders: At YAGER we regularly train Mental Health First Aiders to support in recognizing first signs of any issues and to help sensitise and de-stigmatise mental health issues and crises. Mental health is health, and we feel we can talk openly about going to therapy, feeling dysregulated and more.

By prioritizing employee well-being and implementing tailored strategies to support mental health, all gaming companies can foster a positive work culture, enhance employee engagement and productivity, and ultimately, thrive in an ever-evolving industry. At YAGER we feel very strongly that investing in the mental health of our YAGERians is not only the right thing to do because it makes good business sense and is ethically sound, but also because it helps nurture our open and inclusive culture, which we aim to continue to develop so that all our employees feel safe and that they belong, regardless of where they may be on their own mental health journey.

Sources: HR Magazine – Managers impact mental health as much as spouses