Trauma informed support at PartnerHero

Trauma Informed Support at PartnerHero 

These days you don’t have to be a social media company to be faced with moderation issues. Everything from newspapers to shopping sites have community generated content which can quickly present questions about how to monitor feeds so users stay safe. AI will be a part of the solution but humans will continue to play a big role in deciding what is and is not allowed on websites. Given human involvement in these decisions, it is imperative to create a safe working environment for these employees as they may face incredibly brutal content in the course of their jobs. Trauma-Informed Support (TIS) is the foundation for creating that safe work environment and is a critical part of building a healthy and stable content moderation team. 

Trauma-Informed Support was originally adopted in the healthcare field to improve patient treatment. The premise of TIS is that each person has faced some trauma (physical, mental or emotional) in their life and that to effectively help anyone we must make it easy for them to access services to help them heal. Since its start in the health space it has migrated to other disciplines and is now considered to be an integral part of a well-run content moderation team. Trauma informed support is not a set of well-defined protocols rather it is a culture that makes it easy for individuals to access the tools they need to feel safe. 

There are five pillars to creating a culture that supports trauma-informed support: 

  1. Safety: Both physical and psychological safety are foundational 
  2. Choice: Putting individuals in the driver's seat and let them build their own care
  3. Collaboration: Team members play a role in the program as participants and owners
  4. Trust: Respect boundaries and stay true to commitments 
  5. Empower: TIS gives folks the resources to grow. The end goal is associates who take charge of their own resilience and work to change systems 

How does this manifest?

Let’s take a closer look at each of these pillars and how PartnerHero approaches each one. 

Safety: We’ve worked hard to create a safe and inclusive workplace. A few of the initiatives that live in this category include unconscious bias training for all associates,  campaign specific diversity trainings, physical and emotional/mental health initiatives (like Wellness Week), engagement activities like our monthly AMA sessions and multiple services offered by the Employee Experience team that make it easy to reach out when help is needed. 

Choice: By offering a wide variety of services and opportunities for engagement we are creating the space for choice; our associates can choose what will work best for them and always have trusted peers who can steer them toward different offerings. At PartnerHero, associates have the choice to develop their career and learn new skills. They also have the choice to engage with any of the services mentioned above in the safety section. 

Collaboration: PartnerHero teams are built on collaboration. Whether it is sharing tips and feedback or setting goals, our open culture makes it easy for people across the company to reach out to each other to meet challenges. 

Trust: One of our core values is manifest trust which is threaded into everything we do. When associates speak up about something, we trust them. We trust our associates to make good decisions and contribute in meaningful ways. This has created an environment where associates feel comfortable sharing and being vulnerable as they know they will be listened to and respected. 

Empower: Empowering associates is a key part of our culture and we’ve created programs to empower everyone at PartnerHero to grow. From day one we encourage employees to take ownership of their career, to reach out across the company to learn about different roles and learn new skills. We offer leadership training for future leaders and also run an employee learning series. We make it easy for associates to engage with the leadership team and have an open door policy, making it possible for associates to build connections across the company. 

Creating the environment for Trauma Informed Support is a work in progress and our approach will continue to evolve as our business develops. One thing's for sure though: as our business grows overtime, our commitment to the health and wellness of our associates will never change.