Evaluating an emotional well-being solution is crucial in today’s age of constant disruption and increased risks. By carefully considering the needs of your population, delivering a personalised intervention, and making sure the solution is flexible in order to meet changing requirements, organisations can make informed decisions about emotional wellbeing solutions that effectively support their employees, foster resilience, and drive positive outcomes for both individuals and the bottom line.
After more than three years of disruption to every part of work and life, it’s now clear that calm is not returning to the world, or to the workplace. We’ve entered an age where new risks lurk around every corner; economic uncertainty and volatility, changes in attitudes about flexible work, rising burnout, and a tight labor market.
If your organisation doesn’t already offer an emotional well-being solution to employees, or if you have a feeling that your current solutions are missing the mark, it’s probably time to take a good look at supporting the critical needs of your employees. Here are important elements to think about when evaluating what you already have, and assess what you might need.
Elements to consider:
- Effectively address the needs of all of your people
A comprehensive mental health or emotional well-being solution serves your entire population, from your front line to your C-suite, including your own HR team. It helps to strengthen people at all levels of need. Most organisations offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which only serves the high risk portion of your population. You want to support lower risk employees as well, who may need episodic support.
Employers are also increasingly looking to ensure equity in their offerings for employees located in other parts of the world. This means seeking solutions which are translated in multiple languages, have awareness of the global cultural dynamics of well-being, and a proven track record of supporting a global population.
- Ensure a proven, science-backed methodology
Your emotional well-being solution shouldn’t rely on pop science and the latest trends. Look for a solution grounded in cognitive behavioural therapy and that employs proven scientific methods to target the mindset behind everyday behaviours, not just treat symptoms. Today’s technology means that AI and machine learning can help your people build well-being and resilience across a full range of factors, and get to the root cause of stress and success.
- Leverage predictive analytics, while protecting data privacy
Your solution should be able to unlock the power of data insights for you and your people, while maintaining the necessary privacy when working with sensitive health information. The ability to gain insights on specific sub-populations in your company while at the same time aggregating and anonymising the data in a way that protects individual privacy will help inform your strategy. Specifically, look for solutions that are fully compliant with data protection requirements such as HIPAA and HITECH, GDPR and CCPA/CPRA.
- Deliver personalised intervention based on the needs of each individual
When it comes to mental health, one size doesn’t fit all. Look for a solution that can support each individual’s needs with learning tailored to the areas of growth that will benefit them the most, served in a way that they can most easily digest. For the portions of your workforce which are out in the field instead of at a desk, be sure the solution offers mobile or tablet access. Ensure that there are different modalities for skill building including audio, video, reading, breathing exercises and meditations.
- Reinforce programs already in your HR and benefits ecosystem.
Do you have a well-being ecosystem, or just a collection of parts? If your offerings are siloed, the employee experience is, too, and you’re missing out on powerful synergies. New solutions that you consider should provide insights to help develop your overall emotional well-being strategy. The solution should predict when an employee needs specialty services you already offer (EAP, financial well-being, fitness, healthy eating, etc), and automatically refer them to the appropriate resource.
- Ensure a measurable and meaningful ROI
The right emotional well-being solution can’t just ‘feel good’ or ‘look good’; it has to move the needle for your people and your bottom line. You deserve to know if it drives meaningful reductions in stress, burnout risk, and signs of depression. You’ll also want to address risk proactively, by helping people change the behaviours that lead to problems in the first place. Finally, you should be able to demonstrate ROI in the form of real business outcomes including reduced turnover, absenteeism, and healthcare costs.
- Confirm the solution can grow with your organisation as your well-being needs evolve
The right solution will meet you where you are today, but have the flexibility to grow and evolve with you, to get you to tomorrow. Confirm that there is special support for managers to help them build and develop effective, agile teams. Ensure the product roadmap for new content and features is aligned with your strategy and goals. Know that you’ll be provided a dedicated customer success expert and enrolment campaigns to help drive adoption. Look for providers that are leading the way to provide new content in direct response to unfolding world events in an era of uncertainty.
There are many considerations for a decision-maker to keep in mind when evaluating an emotional well-being solution. However, one thing is clear: investing in the right solution to help employees manage stress and become more agile and resilient pays off with higher employee engagement, less absence, and lower turnover.
Pam Boiros is CMO of meQuilibrium (meQ), the engagement, performance, and well-being solution that helps enterprises build workforce potential based on the science of resilience. Pam has had a long career in HR Tech working for a number of solution providers for over 20+ years to bring innovative products and services to market.