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Innovation Spotlight - Morgan Lewis

March 22, 2021

In our inaugural PDC Innovation Spotlight, Morgan Lewis Director of Employee Well-Being Krista Larson, discusses the focus of the firm’s well-being efforts (aptly known as ML Well) during this time of social distancing, remote working, and pandemic fatigue.

Emotional and community well-being have long been at the heart of our ML Well initiatives which include everything from lighthearted physical activity challenges, virtual programming on strategies for emotional well-being, enhancements to behavioral health benefits, and twice weekly firmwide meditation breaks – all designed to extend that feeling of community and connection to individuals in their work-from-home environments.

Among the highlights was our first-ever firmwide movement challenge which blew us away with 1,500 of our attorneys and professional staff around the world engaging in friendly competition for the highest step count. Participants shared pictures and videos of themselves during their workouts, introduced themselves to colleagues from across the globe, and there was also plenty of friendly smack talk as they competed for the top prize. 

In addition to the more light hearted initiatives like a movement competition and regular virtual fitness classes, we also mobilized a substantial effort early on to emphasize the education we had already been doing around mental health. We now host a variety of virtual programs for groups across the firm on topics such as stress management, resilience, and burnout prevention, all via streaming services. These emotional well-being efforts are bolstered by other remote programming, such as our firmwide virtual meditation break. Everyone at the firm is invited twice a week to take 15 minutes to pause for a mindfulness moment with their colleagues, and turnout has been fantastic. 

Finally, we make an effort to regularly remind our personnel of the mental health services available to them. Just before the pandemic, the firm rolled out multiple enhancements to our behavioral health benefits, including virtual therapist, psychiatrist, and nutritionist services through telehealth. Especially now as people around the world continue to engage in social distancing, we’re promoting those resources every chance we get and are glad to be able to offer virtual resources so people can continue to seek professional support.

I think every leader should be leading with a message right now that it’s okay to not be okay. The stress and uncertainty brought on by the public health crisis is a real concern, and making resources available and known is a critical step in supporting our colleagues. For more information on ML Well, please visit us here. Be well!