Research Outline

Employee Advocate of the Future


Identify what progressive employers are doing to support their employees' mental health and growth and development such as performance coaches, in house counseling, ombudsman efforts, D&I support, etc in order to support the creation of an Employee Advocate position.

Early Findings

Trends in Employee Assistance/Employee Benefits

  • The adoption of Employee Assistance Programs, or programs that "offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems," was trending in 2020.
  • This trend is projected to continue into 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for "employer support for mental health, financial health and sleep" even more apparent.
  • Another trend in 2020 was employee talent development in the form of skills gap assessments and training.
  • Some innovative ways employers are prioritizing employee mental health include “collective mental health days”, providing free counseling, training HR employees in "mental health first aid", making space for employee support groups, providing access to mental health apps such as meditation apps, exercise programs and resiliency training, allowing for time off each week for mental health, allowing employees to work a more flexible schedule, helping employees unplug from technology, and having company leaders speak openly about mental health.


  • Microsoft encourages mental wellness for their employees by having company leaders be open and share their own mental health struggles if they feel comfortable doing so.
  • They offer mental health assistance through their Microsoft CARES initiative, which offers "confidential consultations and referral information to support a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle."
  • The CARES program offers stress management programs, referrals for all sorts of home help including pet sitters and home improvement professionals, parenting resources, resources on caring for aging parents, marital counseling, emotional and behavioral support programs, and grief programs.
  • Microsoft employees are entitled to counseling at the Microsoft Living Well Health Center, 24/7 telephone and web counseling, and online resources.