While mental health of employees had always been a hot topic of discussion, it is encouraging to see organisations making efforts to ensure that their employees’ mental health remains their top priority, especially during these uncertain times.
Uncertainty leads to stress, anxiety, fear and depression. TATA Consultancy Services Limited has been conducting regular sessions during these challenging and uncertain times, for various employee segments to not just answer their queries and make them realise the importance of mental health, but to also let them know that help is at hand if they should ever require.
Under its TCS Cares initiative, it aims to promote awareness, understanding and acceptance around mental health and provides support through qualified counsellors and self-help resources.
The aim is to develop a culture, where people are not only more aware of their mental health, but also understand it better and are able to reach out for help and support when needed.
The initiative also works towards creating a culture of understanding and support for others through a peer counselling support programme and developing ‘safety nets’ for each other.
The counselling sessions are available not just for the employees but for their family members as well. For this, a 24×7 helpline is made available to answer any queries pertaining to mental or physical health support. Delivered through telephonic, online and f2f mediums, by empanelled employee assistance programme (EAP) providers and helplines, these counselling services are free and confidential.
As a part of its employee health insurance policy, the IT services company also provides insurance cover to all its associates covering hospitalisation for mental health concerns.
At the beginning of the lockdown, Tata Consultancy Services, had launched a massive programme to ensure business continuity using its secure borderless workspaces (SBWS) model, which allows TCS associates to work from home with support from minimal associates working from offices.
Communication is the key and staying connected with your colleagues can lighten up the stress to some extent. Likewise, TCS has set up digital communication channels and collaboration platforms for its employees to stay connected with colleagues and customers.
Several webinars on anxiety-related topics are conducted every week. These are open to all associates. There are sessions for managers and leaders as well, that help them deal effectively with their own stresses and manage their teams with empathy.
Resilience Coaching, another programme initiated by TCS for people managers, enables them to don the mantle of a coach while conversing with the employees. This helps them deal with people better and help them cope effectively with situations, and emerge stronger.
Furthermore, there are coaches available to support associates through individual confidential conversations sponsored by the organisation.
TCS Cares also works with the TCS CSR team to extend mental health support to extended stakeholders, such as students from the IT Employability Programme, through podcasts, blogs and webinars.
Keeping in mind the diverse segments in the organisation, such as the LGBTQ community, those with disabilities, and so on, webinar sessions are organised to explore the interdependence between resilience and workplace effectiveness.
Clearly, TCS is taking steps in the right direction to send out the message that ‘everybody is in this together’.