Interview with Bernadette Werner from Flix SE

At OpenUp, we strongly believe that a key component in the workplace is to create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. We are proud to say that we are not the only ones working based on this philosophy. 

 

Companies such as Flix SE, are on the same mission to make mental well-being accessible for all their employees. Bernadette Werner, Junior Manager in Learning and Development at Flix SE,  shared with us their experience with OpenUp.

When was the first time you thought about providing our service to your employees?

 

Shortly after I started in May, there was a very clear request for mental health support. Being in between lockdowns and within a pandemic was a stressful and unknown situation for a lot of people. There were changes in their life to be made, which created pressure and stress.

 

Thus, requests for mental health support reached us and we started looking into this topic further. We collected different providers and their services. By the end we decided for OpenUp as it was a company working internationally that could cater best to our needs and is offering great services to all our employees.

 

What were the challenges you were trying to solve when you chose to partner with OpenUp?

 

There was a wide variety of challenges that our employees faced. On top of the stresses of the pandemic itself, they had to navigate working remotely and balance the needs of their families and loved ones. 

 

The biggest challenge from Flix’s side was offering the service internationally. We have over 20 offices across the world, so it is very important to us to make the offer available to all our employees wherever they are based and whatever language they speak. Consultation should be possible in your mother tongue to get the best experience.

 

What made you choose OpenUp over the other options?

 

With OpenUp, we were able to offer the service in all countries and in different languages to all our employees. Plus, OpenUp offers a lot of different services which fit our requirements, such as offering additional workshops and webinars for our employees and providing material for everyone on their website. Further, the additional offer of mindfulness sessions was well-perceived. 

“This way OpenUp targets multiple groups, not just people struggling currently with their mental health – it provides services for people who are interested in connecting on deeper levels, without a necessary trigger point.”

How many countries and how many employees are you offering our service to?

 

We are offering this to all 1,300 of our employees of all levels. Our interns can use OpenUp as much as our C-Level has the option to do so. Our employees are sitting across the world in 20 locations.

 

Is mental health discussed openly at your company and what is the feeling towards mental health?

 

Mental health is discussed openly and has a high value in this company. We are constantly trying to improve. With monthly surveys, where mental well-being is a dedicated driver, we listen to our employees needs and wants. 

 

We communicate about the topic regularly to support our employees to our best abilities. We encourage people to interact and engage on this topic to get rid of the stigma. With all the tools and approaches we use we try to counteract the taboo around it.

 

In general, how does your company work towards ensuring the well-being of its employees?

 

Flix takes a holistic view of well-being. Well-being isn’t just about mental health, but also physical health, nutrition, and maintaining a healthy balance in work and in life. In addition to OpenUp, we provide discounts and access to gym programs, organise participation in sports events, and have a flexible hybrid work environment. To make it easier for our employees to live healthy lives, our company has a trust-based flexible working culture. This way it is possible for them to build their working days individual to suit their lives, needs, and circumstances.

 

How did you launch OpenUp with your employees?

 

OpenUp was launched in a companywide announcement and initiative around world mental health day. We posted the newsletters that are sent regularly and included the offer into our onboarding sessions. 

 

Now we will focus even more on active communication to encourage even more people to participate and get any support they might need.

 

Did you get any feedback from your employees since you offered OpenUp services?

 

I got a lot of feedback already and it is mostly appreciation and happiness. There are only small parts that they would love to see such as extending the timeframe of the session. Whenever there are issues, reaching out to our account success managers usually fixes it in short time. Overall, there is a lot of positive feedback, especially during the start of the war.

“OpenUp reacted super quickly and was able to provide sessions in the needed languages within a month.”

Let’s talk about Leadership…

 

 

How do you involve your leadership team when it comes to mental well-being in your company?

 

They act as ambassadors and sponsors of mental well-being. They emphasize the importance of the offers and taking advantage of them. 

“As an HR leadership team, we are constantly working to provide HR products, development opportunities and benefits to support the employee experience and make space for mental well-being. We always look forward to receiving constructive feedback from our employees via regular surveys and 1:1 sessions enabling us to understand their experiences, expectations, and needs. We make sure to share this feedback and initiatives with the greater leadership team of our organization, encouraging them to be aware of and support mental well-being within their teams.”

 

– Anika Kolbinsky, VP People & Organization

Do you also get feedback from your management team about the OpenUp services and how they benefit from it from a leadership perspective?

 

Having them as spokespersons of this matter and OpenUp already gives us feedback. They benefit with employees having more energy and focus to work. Talking about this topic opens up a room of psychological safety where team members can feel comfortable sharing and discussing obstacles. Employees who know their strengths make up a great workforce.

 

 

On a more personal level…

 

 

What does mental health personally mean to you?

 

Mental health to me means to learn to deal with everything that weighs on you. For me a big indication of mental health issues is the feeling of stress and restlessness. Once these decrease, I feel healthier not just in my mind but also in my body. 

 

How do you personally practice what you preach about mental health?

 

Recently I started to practice meditation to calm myself down, I like to especially try to improve my sleeping patterns and falling asleep easier.

Further I arrange my working day according to the circumstances I have in life to find the best balance for me. Additionally, I just watched an OpenUp Webinar on positive self-images and started implementing suggested methods and tools into my life.

 

 How do you deal with challenging situations in your life?

 

For me to deal with things talking about it always helps to arrange my thoughts and feelings. To clear up the things taking my headspace I like to talk to my friends, family, or use our offer and have a session with OpenUp psychologists.

“Things move fast at Flix. For this to be sustainable, it’s important that we as a team look after our own well-being. To support colleagues, we’ve created a benefits package which takes a holistic approach to well-being. Our trust-based, flexible working hours framework, for example, gives team members the freedom to find the balance while the discounts we offer for local gym memberships and healthy lunches support physical wellness. Of course, our mental and emotional health is an important part of overall well-being and access to a licensed professional in this area can have a tremendous impact on the quality of our lives – both at work and at home. For this reason, I’m happy our benefits package includes OpenUp and provides our team with holistic support.”

 

– Anika Kolbinsky, VP People & Organization

Do you have any questions or would you like to learn more about our services?

 

👉 Book a free demo