How Toyota North America looks after employees’ mental health

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – One of the largest corporations to recently headquarter their U.S. operations in…

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – One of the largest corporations to recently headquarter their U.S. operations in North Texas is also trying to become a model company when it comes to helping their massive workforce navigate mental health concerns.

Toyota, headquartered in Plano, invited us to their massive 100-acre campus to talk more about their efforts.

Toyota’s VP of human resources Kim Cockrell said keeping their employees from being consumed by the stresses of work or from home is a top priority for the company.

Cockrell added, “We care immensely about the health, the well-being of our employees and their families. So, it’s critical that we provide resources tools benefits so that we can provide an environment so they can give their best.”

She added the challenges brought on by the pandemic and shifting way of working was especially difficult for her.

Cockrell said, “For me personally, it was having my own employees go through tragedy. Seeing the impact on everyone’s life and not being able to physically be there was really hard.”

Cockrell showed us and explained some of the extra measures they have taken recently to ensure their workforce stays mentally healthy.

While touring the campus she showed us all of the amenities like a walk-in health clinic similar to an urgent care, a pharmacy and convenient store, multiple cafeterias, a credit union, and even a full-sized gym that rivals some of the larger health clubs in the Metroplex.

Those are all amenities meant to help provide their employees extra resources that can make their lives a little easier.

The World Health Organization reports the pandemic triggered a 25% increase in anxiety and depression across the globe. That same data also revealed the mental health of women and young people were most impacted by COVID-19.

Some employees we spoke with agreed the challenges to mental health are ever-present these days more than ever.

Toyota Insights manager, Beatrice Diaz said, ” A lot of it is being able to balance your life, your personal life with your work life. I think that’s one of the bigger stressors for me. It came strong for me. It came strong for me during the pandemic, right?”

Her colleague LaPrie Townsend, an Enterprise Transformation Consultant added “I think the greatest challenge is just maintaining a sense of community” about the shifting of work from home or remote work during the pandemic.

Cockrell says their goal to keep the mental health of their workers extends into many different wellness programs too.

All full time employees also have built in benefits that allow them to seek help from professionals whenever they need it. A benefit that is also extended to their family members too.

Cockrell said, “At the end of the day our goal is to make sure we have the right levers in place. The right tools, the right support systems so that whatever comes we are putting our employees at the center and our employees first.”

All of the services and benefits tailored towards Toyota employees don’t just cover the 4,500 at their North American headquarters, but all of their nearly 40,000 employees across the U.S.