Shopify Inc.’s 2021 Workplace Benefit Awards win is helping the company build on the most successful elements of its employee wellness programs, with an emphasis on trauma-focused care.

“We’ve been able to dive a bit deeper into that and better understand the different employee groups across the organization and help them [address] their wellness needs,” says Kelly Dawson, the organization’s global lead for wellness and leaves.

Read: Shopify wins award for ‘digital by design’ employee health, wellness strategy

The e-commerce company’s digital-first employee health and wellness strategy won the Coronavirus and Benefits award for an employer with more than 5,000 employees. To make the transition to remote work as smooth as possible, Shopify introduced a working model it calls Digital by Design, shifting its operations to a digital-first way of thinking, working and decision-making.

The company also implemented a program called Destination 90 — allowing employees to work remotely from anywhere in the world for up to 90 days per calendar year — and delivered ergonomic office equipment directly to employees.

“By May [of 2020] we had communicated we were becoming a remote-first company and we weren’t going back to the office,” says Dawson. “So that really provided flexibility and some certainty to employees in a very uncertain world.”

Read: Shopify moving majority of employees to permanent remote work

Shopify also expanded its mental-health coverage by adding $2,500 to paramedical coverage specific to mental-health treatment and created leave options for employee caregivers, as well as peer support circles.

Dawson says the award provided a sense of validation for the company. “It was nice just to get the validation. It was like, ‘Wow, we did a lot of really great things for our employees.’ It was a moment to pause and reflect on the work we had done and the impact it had.”

The win also provided an opportunity to network and share ideas with other nominees and winners during the 2021 awards’ roundtable discussion. “We learned a lot from all the other finalists and it was so nice to come together as a group to chat,” says Dawson. “I came out of it feeling really motivated.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully having a discussion again if we become finalists and being among those leaders who care deeply about this space.”

Enter the 2022 Workplace Benefits Awards here. The deadline is July 8.