Modern Health helps Nextdoor open up conversations around mental health across their global offices

Modern Health Engagement

Over 1/3 of Nextdoor’s global workforce is engaged in the Modern Health platform across 11 countries

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Nextdoor’s purpose is to create a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood to rely on. Kindness, exemplified by neighbors helping neighbors, is  especially important during tough times like COVID-19. In a world of ever-changing technology, Nextdoor provides a hub where neighbors can come together to share ideas, exchange goods, or just help one another. However, building strong neighborhoods around the world doesn’t happen without a work culture that reflects the positive spirit of these communities -- welcoming diverse perspectives, trusting those around you, and lending a helping hand wherever possible.

To stay true to their purpose and provide a welcoming community for their employees, Nextdoor needed a tool that ensured their employees have a positive and healthy work environment. This solution had to extend beyond the standard ‘nice-to-have’ perks and support the global employees’ holistic wellness, beginning with their minds. Nextdoor’s Head of People, Bryan Power, knew that they needed to offer something more, “and Modern Health was the way in.”

Power’s decision to partner with Modern Health actually came before he even started at Nextdoor. “I was on sabbatical, and I actually wished that I was working so that I could bring Modern Health into the company I was working for.”

The first step in promoting the prioritization of mental health for Nextdoor employees was to encourage conversation around this historically stigmatized topic. “You’ve got to create an environment where people can start to talk about their own circumstance,” explained Power, a veteran of tech giants Yahoo, Google, and Square. He acknowledged that equally as important was ensuring that “managers are comfortable and fluent with that type of conversation.”

Modern Health’s ‘One Front Door’ approach to mental health allowed Nextdoor to frame this resource as something for everyone. “There’s a different conversation I’m trying to start by saying ‘use Modern Health,’” he explained, comparing the platform to other vendors that promote a single offering, which he says “start with a solution rather than starting with the right topic.” With a global workforce spread across 11 countries, providing support across the organization required a partner with the ability to reach everyone, regardless of location, language preference, or level of need.

To date, more than a third of Nextdoor’s global workforce is engaged in the Modern Health platform, and their leadership is encouraged by how their employees are utilizing all that the platform has to offer, though one area in particular has stood out to their team. “People love the coaches. Our workforce is community-minded, so intrapersonal support is a big need,” says Power. He likened Modern Health’s network of high-quality coaches to “a community of experts” that each employee has to assist them in whatever areas of their life they want to focus on.

"He likened Modern Health’s network of high-quality coaches to “a community of experts” that each employee has to assist them in whatever areas of their life they want to focus on."

Power highlighted the importance of offering mental health support before a critical need hits. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, plans and projections can get thrown out the window in a matter of days, and having resources already in place, rather than being reactive, can make all the difference in the world. He gave the example of Nextdoor managers using Modern Health tools for stress management amid the COVID-19 outbreak. “Right now, managers will take these tools and put them to work immediately, where two weeks ago it just didn’t have the same currency.”

Power continued to talk about the heightened stress levels that often accompany working at a fast-paced startup. “There’s an element of that {stress} that’s positive” says Power. “That’s the signal that you’re growing.” He continued that though stress isn’t necessarily always negative, “it does have these secondary effects that can be debilitating if you don’t pay attention to them. If you have other stressors personally and you’re in a stressful work environment, this stuff compounds. That’s where I think a lot of the value in these programs come from.”

Our favorite quote from our conversation with Bryan Power, however, was perhaps his simplest. “Kindness is such a powerful quality when you really think about it, and the world is ready for kindness.” We absolutely agree.

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