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Founded in 2011, Zoom provides a video communications platform for businesses and individuals, and its success has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Even with this abrupt growth, Zoom continues to foster a supportive work culture, recognized as one of Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards for Best Places to Work in 2022 and Comparably’s award for Best Company Happiness in 2020.
For Zoom, mental health care emerged as a key benefit to maintain this high bar for employee happiness and a thriving work culture, with Sheila Krueger, Head of Global Benefits, saying that “It’s very important that our employees have access to mental health care because we understand everybody has stressors. There’s a life outside of work, and sometimes that all gets a little tricky. Our company motto is ‘Work happy,’ and we want our employees to also live happy. Without access to good mental health care, there’s a risk of our employees going down a spiral, affecting their family, their productivity, and their lives.”
“In the middle of 2019, we decided that we needed to bring on a stronger mental health benefit,” said Krueger. “Our employee assistance program (EAP) was sufficient, but not really proactive in helping our employees. And we felt that the number of visits that they had available was not sufficient to really support good mental health.”
Zoom’s previous EAP offered five telephone counseling sessions per year to employees. This system came with significant barriers to care, putting the burden of finding a therapist on employees who may have already been facing difficulties caused by mental health issues. “Using a standard EAP meant employees typically received a list of providers, and would have to make phone calls to find out if they were accepting new patients. Oftentimes, employees had to delay care for up to two to three weeks while they found a provider that could help them,” said Krueger.
In early 2020, Zoom launched Lyra as a comprehensive mental health solution for its global workforce, solving the issues that employees were facing with access, utilization, and recovery. With Lyra, employees can fill out a brief survey, and quickly get connected to a coach or therapist, and schedule a first appointment within a few days.
“We ended up selecting Lyra as our partner because we felt that their employee experience was really amazing. The ability to get online, have your questions asked and answered, determine care, and then receive that care in a really timely manner was important to us,” said Krueger.
The barriers inherent to Zoom’s previous EAP had silently discouraged employees from getting care. But under the surface, mental health was an employee need. Lyra offered a clear pathway for quickly getting help.
“Based on the previous utilization from our EAP, we were overwhelmed by the response that our employees had to Lyra. With Lyra, our utilization has been incredibly high, and we can see now how needed that service really was,” shared Krueger.
Zoom initially launched Lyra with 16 mental health care sessions per year for employees and their dependents. The success and popularity of Lyra’s services has stamped its place as a highly valued benefit at Zoom.
“Lyra has been incredibly well-received,” said Krueger. “The next step is to integrate Lyra into our medical plan. No one wants to go through 16 sessions with their therapist and feel like they’re on the verge of a breakthrough and then have to change care.” Through this integration, Zoom employees can continue care beyond their maximum sessions with their medical plan, ensuring seamless care for those who may need longer periods of treatment, such as medication or extended therapy for complex needs.