I’ve been involved with HR Technology for over three decades which, at times, sure does make me feel old! What has really grabbed my attention is HR and the new mental wellbeing initiatives.
Since March of 2020, I’ve really had to reevaluate so much in my life and, among all the immense changes, I’ve seen how many HR colleagues have had to do the same.
We only have to look at my professional social media feeds to see how many HR professionals are talking about their own mental health. Add to this is the stresses and strains of feeling responsible for the mental health of their colleagues.
Based on conversations I have had and continue to have with HR Professionals over the last few months, it is clear that organisations are re-visiting their people strategies based on the current situation with Covid-19 and the changes that have had to be made to the working environment.
HR has a hugely important role to play in looking after the mental health and wellbeing of its workforce.
Many organisations do not have any form of employee wellbeing solution in place apart from some individuals who will have been on a 1 day “mental health awareness” training course.
While this in itself is rarely the silver bullet that delivers a truly effective solution, it did have some validity when everyone was in the office – but what about now?
In our post-Covid time, there is no doubting that there is a high degree of mental health awareness. But is awareness of it enough?
Designated Mental Health First Aiders are more accessible in the physical environment. The work-from-home policies make this accessibility slightly harder but crucially, who is helping these First Aiders with their own anxiety, stress and depression?
We hear about Mental Health Management on news coverage all the time, and organisations are starting to understand that they need to offer employees tangible solutions.
However, many HR Professionals do not know where to find relevant solutions and their first point of action is likely to be to look at the current HR Tech Stack and see if any of their current vendors offer a solution that can be plugged in.
If they have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in place they will see if “Employee Wellbeing” is covered. One thing that we are finding is that insurance companies offering their EAP solution are bundling in mental wellbeing but this is not of a suitable standard.
A frequent observation about an EAP is that the therapy on offer isn’t sustainable and that there aren’t enough sessions.
It is becoming clear that the way people work has changed for the long term: more people working remotely is here to stay.
Solutions are needed to help with this transition as many people will have no experience of working remotely and many will not have the space, set up or ability to work effectively from home.
Levels of anxiety, emotional issues, stress and other issues will increase.
HR Professionals know that employees are reluctant to discuss these issues face to face for fear of being judged. We also know that individuals are far more inclined to “talk to technology via a keyboard, mobile or otherwise” than to make a telephone call to HR if they feel emotionally or mentally stressed.
Litha’s corporate Conversational AI solutions (in particular, Wallace and Human Orienteers) offer organisations an opportunity to help with employee wellbeing via easy-to-use, mobile friendly and highly relevant solutions.
As genuine artificial intelligence, the underlying architecture is phenomenally complex but an immense amount of work has gone into making the front-end as simple as possible.
By demystifying corporate and personal psychology, the technology is engaging as effective as it is powerful.
When it comes to HR and the new Mental Wellbeing landscape, there are two key measurements: the social ROI of improving employee wellbeing and the financial ROI.
While the social ROI is critical, many organisations can only ‘afford it’ if they see a tangible return.
We have successfully moved the act of therapy and psychometrics away from ‘something we have to do’ to something that is seamless and non-intrusive. In fact, it’s 24/7, multi-device and multi-channel – text or voice conversations can take place whether it’s through Signal, Telegram, Slack, Google Assistant or Alexa (and more!).
In doing so, it makes for a more natural style of conversation in a secure (and confidential) environment.
There is a clear return on investment from a monetary perspective. The Deloitte Survey in 2020 shows an economic impact of £1,600-2,000 per person per year due to non-productivity due to issues around anxiety and mild-moderate depression.
The additional and often overlooked benefit to organisations is the simple fact that by looking after employees wellbeing, employees, will generally, work harder and longer hours, be loyal to their employers, stay longer and become positive ambassadors.
This means less staff attrition, saving money on recruitment cost, a loyal staff and a better working environment across the business.
I guess the last point to think about here is how to keep HR moving away from purely transactional activities – and to keep being recognised for our strategic impact.
Our psychotherapy solutions include bespoke analytics and insights ranging from reporting on clinical improvement through to the level of emotional engagement that your employees are experiencing.
For the post-Covid mental wellbeing environment, our technology supports office- and remote-working with a psychotherapy solution built on helping people to resolve their anxiety, stress and mild-moderate depression.
Don’t just monitor and measure their wellbeing; help them to resolve it.
Anil Aphale is a highly-regarded business professional who has been working with HR and recruitment teams in the corporate sector for over 30 years.
With a focus on HR solutions, he has helped to shape solutions around recruitment processes, employer brands and employee engagement.
Anil has been at the forefront of HR technology changes is to introduce Litha’s conversation and psychology solutions to forward-looking organisations in the UK & Eire.
“At a time when Employee Wellbeing is front of mind and growing in importance, I am excited about how Litha Group have developed a range of solutions that are set to change the way corporations and individuals look at, measure and react to wellbeing and mental health awareness in the work place.”