Mental Health Awareness Month: How Rackspace Technology Supports Rackers
by PJ Lovejoy, Senior Manager, Racker Experience & HR Communications, Rackspace Technology
May is Mental Health Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing and encourage employees to seek help when they need it. At Rackspace Technology, we encourage and empower our Rackers to take care of their total wellbeing — and support them with wellness programs and professional care services.
According to Summer Gafford, Vice President of Total Rewards and Human Resources Operations at Rackspace Technology, “Mental health is a key component of wellbeing, and it’s something we all need to focus on. Our Rackers are valued members of our winning team on an inspiring mission. We work hard to create a workplace culture in which every one of our employees feels supported and valued — and to provide resources that can help Rackers with their overall wellbeing, including mental health.”
Some of the resources available to Rackers include the Agile Ways of Working policy, which helps Rackers get the job flexibility they need to achieve the sometimes-competing demands of work and home life. Through this policy, Rackers and their managers co-design a work location and schedule strategy that best meets the needs of both the business and their personal goals.
Supporting Rackers’ global social connections
Our Rackers are located around the globe, with teams dispersed geographically and across time zones so they can be near our customers. This makes our company culturally rich and interesting as we work together and learn from each other during meetings and discussions hosted over remote technologies.
In a global company, social connection is vital. Rackspace Technology has prioritized creating live, real-time connections among our Rackers around the world. One powerful way that we achieve this goal is through our wide range of employee-based communities. They give our employees many opportunities to build strong connections inside and outside of like-minded groups of co-workers. We offer:
- Racker resource groups: Help bring our diversity, inclusion and belonging program to life through a variety of group offerings.
- Technical communities: Allow Rackers to connect over a shared interest in technologies and innovation.
- Rack Gives Back program: Puts action to our core value of compassion through volunteering and financial giving in communities around the world.
Introducing a new support group — HEAL
Earlier this year, several Rackers joined together to launch a new group called HEAL. It’s a Racker-led grief support group that promotes healing through hope, empathy, acceptance and love. The group operates under the umbrella of our Lavender Racker Resource Group, which provides resources and support for Rackers’ mental wellness and physical abilities.
“Loss is hard,” said Donna Martin, an Oracle Functional Support Analyst and the founder of HEAL. “When I lost my husband unexpectedly a few years ago, I found that each day was a new journey. My friends have helped me through my loss as I learned to live a new life. And I have helped others, as well.
“I still miss my husband every moment of every day, and I know he would be proud of me. That’s the idea behind HEAL. I hope we can help many more Rackers through their healing from grief journeys, too.”
Supporting the physical side of mental health
Exercise and physical activities are well-known contributors to helping reduce stress, improve mood and boost energy levels. To support this aspect of mental health, we host annual wellbeing challenges that encourage mental and physical wellness through team competitions, such as step tracking, healthy eating, meditation, gratitude practices and more.
In some of our global offices, Rackers have access to physical exercise facilities, including walking tracks, fitness centers and sports courts where they can stay active during their workday. In addition to a fitness center, our San Antonio headquarters is also home to an onsite CrossFit affiliate, 8808 Crossfit, which is available exclusively and at no cost to Rackers.
“Our CrossFit classes are designed to challenge Rackers physically and mentally,” said Leroy Ruvalcaba, a Technical Support Manager and an 8808 CrossFit-er since 2017. “We strive to bring an intense daily workout that can be modified to suit everyone's needs. Our goal is to help Rackers leave each session feeling exhilarated.”
Providing mental wellness support benefits
At Rackspace Technology, we also provide Rackers with a robust benefits package that includes coverage for many wellbeing needs throughout the many phases of their life — from youth to seniors. Also, our Employee Assistance Program offers native-language support for a variety of life situations — from dealing with stress to financial planning.
Through our program, Rackers also have access to popular resources like Headspace and RethinkCare. These digital wellness solutions help employees learn mindfulness techniques to tackle stress, manage anxiety and sleep more soundly.
Rackspace Technology honors and values Rackers' wellbeing and wants each of our workers to thrive — not only during Mental Health Awareness Month but all year round.
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