Impressing our judges with its proactive tackling of mental health was global attribution leader AppsFlyer. The company, headquartered out of San Francisco and Herzliya, has over 1,100 staff globally and over 29 regions across its Asia Pacific offices.
Over the past year, it saw the increasing toll of the pandemic impacting its staff wellbeing in an unexpected manner across the region. Coming together as a company, regardless of continent, AppsFlyer shifted its focus to putting employees’ mental health first. Most notably, AppsFlyer employees in Bangalore and Bangkok offices seemed to be the hardest hit as they faced numerous difficulties to their social well-being and lives as the pandemic raged, leaving damaging effects on the economy.
Quickly and decisively, an employee initiative around “Helping alleviate mental health and wellbeing disability” was launched in May 2021, coinciding with the global mental health and wellbeing awareness month. The campaign was conceptualised with two core focuses: 1) Making mental health and wellbeing a priority for employees; 2) and equipping employees with enriching sessions and tools that they can put into daily practice.
Spearheading the initiative was its chief people officer Lisa Zaythik, who fronted all internal communications across numerous internal touchpoints from slack to Facebook Workplace. Zaythik, being a founding member of the AppsFlyer team and part of the executive leadership, wanted to acknowledge the very real and painful situations members of the AppsFlyer family faced.
Localising the initiative for Asia Pacific, the company’s director of people operations, Jonah Kadish, championed region-specific programs to bring more localised relevance and engagement to the cause. With its eyes set on the prize of putting its people first, several new initiatives hit the ground running.
First up, the company launched the “Pause and Play” programme where it provided an extended “AppsFlyer-only” long weekends per quarter to emphasise on the importance of hitting pause for leisure and personal time.
Keeping true to its DNA of being a science and data-based company, it also created a series titled “The science of happiness/evidence-based happiness”. This programme was specifically designed to help its employees learn to cope and use the tools they had at their disposal to achieve happiness through science. Encouraging learning, the company also activated its LinkedIn Learning Membership for all employees to push for online based learning programs on stress management and mindfulness at work.
Complementing the initiative and learning, a year-long “Calm” app membership was purchased for every single employee in the company to ensure the practice of mindfulness and meditation through a fairly simple and intuitive mobile application. The move saw overwhelming response from its employees with majority of them having taken advantage of the Calm app subscription and related tools. Moreover, the company received solid commitment from its employees into using these tools on a daily basis.
All of these initiatives also saw its staff coming together cohesively regardless of geographical location. A weekly Yoga session was kick-started by colleagues in Bangalore that quickly took off in markets such as Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, and even Kiev.
Most notably, to break the stigma associated with mental health issues, AppsFlyer decided to create an APAC-centric “Removing the Stigma” panel discussion, bearing in mind that discussions around mental health may still be considered taboo in certain work cultures. Mental health experts from Thailand, India and the Philippines were brought together for an honest and interactive session about bravely facing the stigma around mental health. Approximately 85% of employees were seen in attendance and participation during the mental health awareness sessions and panel discussions, despite the sessions often being held on a workday.
While the initiatives might have rolled out in line with AppsFlyer’s 'Mental health and wellbeing awareness month', they have now continued as a key aspect of the company.
Already considered as one of the most popular and engaged-with employee campaigns within the company, the AppsFlyer senior leadership teams have explicitly expressed support in advocating more mental health awareness programs for the AppsFlyer community.
“We openly acknowledge that the effects of improved mental health and well-being do not happen within a period of months, or even years. To some, it can even be a daily struggle. For our part in the organisation, we’ve laid out some seeds through tools, sessions and practices that hopefully will make that lasting impact,” said the team.