Using biometrics to improve employee wellbeing and increase productivity
According to the UK Health & Safety Executive, in 2016-17, over half a million workers were suffering from ‘work-related stress, depression or anxiety’ resulting in the loss of 12.5 million working days at a cost of around £26 billion to employers. These figures represent almost half of ALL working days lost to ill-health, with staff citing ‘workload pressure’ as the dominant cause.
How can HR departments best address this devastating issue within their workforce? How can they use experiential insight to help design, implement and monitor tailored interventions that will work to bolster resilience, improve wellbeing, cut stress, reduce sickness absence and increase staff satisfaction and productivity?
Our answer is a unique combination of psychological and physiological assessments of the employee experience. Using biometric monitors and specialist interviews we are able to assess the stress and recovery levels of employees. This helps individuals to make positive changes to their own lifestyle while also identifying improvement areas for employee wellbeing and business performance across the entire workforce.
1. Physiological insight
Physiological monitoring of a cross section of your work force (e.g. typically representing some 10% of your total employees):
- Heart Rate monitoring using a medical grade chest-fitted monitor
- Worn over 72 hours (48 hour period at work and 24 hours at home)
- Smartphone app-based diary for individual to log events
- Produces an individual ‘Lifestyle Assessment’ report visualizing stress and recovery levels across the three days
- Anonymised, aggregated data analysis of participants gives an objective physiological group report versus a global population (over 90,000 people) and can be split out by previously agreed criteria: e.g. age, sex, job title, job role, department, etc.
2. Psychological insight
One-to-one, confidential feedback session with each individual (ideally face-to-face, but can be carried out over the phone). Using our innovative ‘Generator’ methodology we gather deep insights into the influencing factors from all perspectives:
- Presentation and interpretation of ‘lifestyle assessment’ report and recommendations for improvement (NB: No individual data will be made available to the employer without the express, written permission of the employee)
- Psychological exploration of contributory work factors and current attitude/opinion towards work and employer amongst participants
- Sentiment analysis of anonymised and aggregated data identifies common language, themes and priorities.
3. Overall performance report
A report showing the psychological and physiological ‘state of the nation’ for your organisation including recommendations for improvement areas.
These recommendations may include company-wide or departmental focused initiatives covering: well-being; physical, mental and emotional resilience including motivation; induction; onboarding; ongoing employee engagement; culture; internal communication and working practices.
Case Study – Honda UK
Following an initial physiological assessment of over 300 staff at 40 of Honda’s UK car dealers, it was identified that their ‘resilience index’ was some 20% below the norm and 30% below the target benchmark for general wellbeing in a high-performing organization.
The benchmarking exercise and issues raised by the staff during their feedback sessions provided the evidence and information for the design and delivery of the Retail Experience Programme. This linked emotional, motivational and physiological factors to individual ‘performance’ (both at work and home) and formed part of an ambitious coaching programme that was delivered across Honda’s dealer network in the UK.
Over a three-year period, the dealerships taking part in the programme recorded:
- 62% rise in staff retention in an industry notorious for high rates of churn
- 13% increase in staff ‘positivity’
- 16% rise in customer satisfaction
- 30% improvement in sales
Staff taking part in the programme rated it 92 out of 100 and it won the ‘Delivering Customer Experience’ category of the UK Employee Experience Awards in 2017.