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Reimagining Retirement | Episode 4

On March 15, 2023, Bonnie Treichel, Chief Solutions Officer at Endeavor Retirement hosted the 4th episode of Reimagining Retirement focusing on mental health in the workplace. The episode highlighted two industry leaders as presenters:

  • Ivana Polonijo, Chief Solutions Officer at Courageous Being
  • Jessica Fox, Head of Mid-Market Consultant Relations at Nuveen Retirement Investing

The presenters addressed the intersections between mental health and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the financial services industry.

Key Takeaways

The presenters highlighted what they have learned from experts such as organizational psychologist Melissa Doman and from putting their learning into practical application. These presenters also shared key takeaways including:

Addressing Mental Health and DEI is Good for the Bottom Line

The data shows that companies that address DEI perform better. Similarly, the data on mental health – while emerging – strongly indicates that firms see a multiple on their return on investment when they put programs in place to support their employees’ mental health.

The presenters repeatedly highlighted the importance of setting boundaries to protect one’s own mental health. By setting boundaries, individuals can protect against burnout and ensure that they are taking care of their physical and mental health. When workers don’t establish or respect boundaries, burnout can happen and will lead (and has led) to individual depletion, as well as talent departing the financial services industry.

Translate Good Intentions into Actionable Steps

Given the general consensus that supporting DEI and employee mental health is not only the right thing to do but is also profitable, why don’t more firms implement efforts to support DEI and mental health?

The panel unanimously agreed that when it comes to mental health and DEI, folks in the financial services industry generally say all the right things and have good intentions. But the industry still struggles to translate these good intentions into action. Jessica noted the adage that “You are what you measure and what you measure gets done.” If firms are not measuring mental health or DEI, then it is unlikely these issues will be addressed.

Ivana noted that everyone can support their own mental health by being willing to accept their human frailties and own internal struggles. When people suppress or deny these parts of themselves, it can lead to anxiety and bad outcomes. When individuals have not taken care of their inner-selves, it becomes far more difficult to show up for others.

Additional Resources

Taking action can start with a small step. To learn more, check out Courageous Being and consider this resource from TIAA with 10 actionable steps to take today.

Be sure to watch the full recap and be on the lookout for your invitation to attend the next Reimagining Retirement event. See you there!

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