'For too long we've had a reactive approach to workforce mental health'
A fact that is often overlooked: our physical safety is directly linked to our mental state.
When stress levels rise, so too do workplace accidents. It’s been shown that stress is directly linked to sixty percent to 80 per cent of workplace accidents, and it’s estimated that more than 80 per cent of doctor visits are due to stress.
Considering that COVID-19 has contributed to historic stress levels in the workforce, it’s more important than ever that we take measures to arm our workforce with tools to manage their mental health & safety.
One set of tools that is gaining traction in helping the frontline workforce is resiliency. Resilience has been proven to reduce stress, improve mental wellbeing and help people navigate challenges so they can get ahead of adversity.
Dr. Ryan Todd, a psychiatrist with Alberta Health Services and CEO of headversity, a workforce resilience platform, says organizations need to rethink the way they approach employee mental health in the wake of the pandemic.
“For too long we’ve had a reactive approach to workforce mental health, helping employees when they’re in acute distress or at the illness stage,” says Todd. “If we’ve learned anything in this pandemic it’s that mental health is an entire workforce problem, so it’s the right time for leaders to rethink their strategies to reach their people earlier and more often through prevention. Resilience training can be really helpful for this.”
For Dr. Todd and his team’s design of headversity, rethinking the mental health approach also meant designing an experience specific to the needs of the frontline employee.
“Our industry hasn’t done a great job at designing intuitive experiences for the employee,” said Todd of the workforce mental health industry. “Up until now, it’s been largely standardized resources in the form of one-off speakers, first aid training, you name it. But we haven’t designed experiences that they can consume on the go, can help them within their workday or are personalized in any way. There are enough barriers to mental health – we need to build experiences that work for them and meet them where they are.”
These experiences, Todd argues, need to stem from the micro moments we can reach employees in their workday.
“Cultivating a mentally healthy and resilient workforce needs to live within the fabric of your business operations. We need to design experiences that are seamless to their workday, don’t add to their workload and are not coming at the expense of employees’ time or productivity. And, importantly, it’s about helping them in real time. Otherwise, we’re putting the work on them when it may not naturally be prioritized,” said Todd.
“Moments of influence for blue collar industries could include team meetings, health & safety meetings, coffee or lunch breaks and commute times. At headversity, our approach is designed to live within these moments of influence, for the manager and employee alike, so they’ve got the micro content and tools they need to thrive in that moment.”
To learn more about the benefits of resilience training for workforce stress management and mental wellbeing, you can download headversity’s free eBook. You can also visit their website to learn about how they’ve partnered with organizations to improve their work culture through resilience.
“We have had the good fortune of working with some of the world’s largest and leading employers, impacting more than 400,000 lives globally on our platform. Partnering with headversity, we can get the tools in the hands of your workforce to build personal resilience,” says Todd.
For more on headversity’s workforce resilience platform, visit their website for a free demo.
80 per cent of doctor visits stat: https://www.stress.org/americas-1-health-problem