With one in every five Australian workers currently experiencing mental illness, HSE Global took steps to better manage the mental health of its workforce.
During COVID-19 pandemic, the global risk management consultancy – which has offices across Australia, New Zealand, and the US – developed an app in partnership with its digital business Global Safety Index (GSI), that enabled its team to more easily check in with one another and determine how all staff were feeling. Since then, the 1HSE Daily Wellbeing Check-In App has become a risk management tool that generates important conversations between workers and leaders.
Over the past few years, there has been a significant focus on managing the risks associated with mental illness – with both regulatory and ethical requirements for workplaces to better manage the health and safety of their teams. In particular the introduction of ISO 45003 has placed a spotlight on the way in which organisations need to be proactive, rather than reactive, in how they manage the risks associated with mental illness.
HSE Global assembled a team of its mental health professionals – including psychologists, social workers, family therapists and mental health nurses – as well as people who had lived experience of mental health issues. These expert insights led to an app that would provide real-time feedback, as well as connect individuals to a counsellor if they were in crisis.
The wording on the app was carefully considered to ensure that it was supportive and not triggering to the user. A proof of concept was then trialled amongst the team internally and with external users, to enable HSE Global to obtain feedback about what people liked and what they did not. Adjustments were made based on the feedback, and the native application was developed.
The Director of Risk and Innovation, Luke Beeston, said that one of the main challenges encountered during the development process was keeping it simple and addressing concerns about the possibility of the app impacting on people’s privacy. The other challenge was working out how to drive change through the collected insights. Engaging the team in consultation and education was key to overcoming these barriers and ensuring that everyone one was on board with the process.
Using the GSI platform, HSE Global developed a dashboard to be able to make use of the data and ensured that it featured in executive and team meetings. Anonymous data is reported internally so everyone within the organisation is able to see how the company is doing. Data for every day, week, month, quarter and year can now be compared and analysed. For instance, if staff are feeling better this month than last month, questions can be asked as to why this is the case.
The app has been highly successful at increasing engagement and helping the team members to self-reflect on their own wellbeing, according to Group CEO Ben Wilson. In the words of one user:
I now take a few minutes in the morning before I check-in. Sometimes I think I’m not feeling great, but before I select that option, I really think about it – and most times I realise that I am better than I thought. So it makes it feel more positive,
Whilst another user reported that:
I was in a bad place due to personal issues, so being honest, I checked in as ‘struggling’. Within minutes I had messages and phone calls from my support group, which helped me simply by knowing people cared,
This article originally appeared in the June 2023 edition of National Safety, produced by the NSCA Foundation.
To learn more about 1HSE – The daily wellbeing check-in app. Please visit the 1HSE site.