‘Inside the Circles' podcast: Making employee wellbeing matter

June 23, 2021 | By Anthony Venutolo

During the nearly 18 months of constant anxiety, stress and fatigue, the pandemic has affected everyone in unimaginable ways. For millions, the line between work and life has been blurred, and there should be no shame in admitting that our wellbeing sometimes suffers.

On the latest episode of "Inside the Circles,” Mastercard’s podcast about the future of work and the topics of now, host Latoya Bennett-Johnson chats with Chief People Officer Michael Fraccaro about the company’s approach to wellness: “We put our hand on people's back, not in their face,” he says.  

Even before the pandemic, wellbeing was a priority for Fraccaro. He noticed employees working long hours and traveling a lot, but there seemed to be a stigma against speaking up about feeling overwhelmed, he says.

Once the lockdown hit, Fraccaro recognized that keeping the workforce happy and healthy was a key priority, so he and his team implemented meeting-free days to combat Zoom fatigue, shorter summer hours on Fridays and global benefits including COVID leave for employees to recover from the disease and to care for others.

The company also launched Live Well, an app that helps employees keep track of their physical health, and partnered with Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington's behavior change platform, which  helps users achieve wellbeing through a combination of data, stories and suggestions.

Fraccaro says it has been an unprecedented year, and this whole wellness journey for employees comes down to a few key attributes: "Take care of yourself and find out what works for you," he says. "Look out for each other and then focus on what matters."  

You can hear more from Bennett-Johnson and Fraccaro by subscribing to “Inside the Circles” on Apple Podcasts or streaming it directly in the player above.

Anthony Venutolo, Manager, Global Communications