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By Saadiq Samodien, Online Events Specialist, Top Employers Institute
By Saadiq Samodien, Online Events Specialist, Top Employers Institute

Supporting mental wellbeing in the hybrid world of work



How do organizations create diverse and focused offerings that support the mental health of their employees?  

That is what Certified Top Employer Discovery discussed in a recent Top Employers Connect webinar about mental wellbeing.  

In the latest of our ‘For a Better World of Work’ series, we were joined by Jabulile Nosi, Head of Employee Wellbeing at Discovery, Zonke Mashile, Business Executive at Discovery, and Ammara Naeem, Head of Client Success at Top Employers Institute, to explore how Discovery uses personalization, data-centricity, and leadership storytelling to unlock a meaningful wellbeing strategy.  

Read ahead to get a snapshot at some of the highlights from Zonke, Jabulile, and Ammara's engaging discussion, and fill in the form (on the right-hand side of the page) to get the recording of the webinar to watch whenever you have a moment. 

Discovery's wellness is derived from its purpose – which is to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives. And that's where insights are drawn from.  

Although Discovery has a plethora of wellness resources (including bank rewards, an integrated rewards platform, webinars, corporate wellness), they were still challenged with what is missing around how they support their employee's mental wellbeing.  

Concerns were grouped into four key themes:  

  • Languishing – Adam Grant refers to languishing as the "neglected middle child of mental health." It is the  void between depression and flourishing, in other words, the feeling of being "stuck." 
  • Grief – Not just the grief of the loss of loved ones, but also the grief of losing the last few years of being home and the grief of experiences. The loss of opportunities and experiences and social interactions. 
  • Burnout – The feeling of being overwhelmed and your body telling you, "I can't do this anymore." 
  • Anxiety A sense of anxiety among employees given the uncertainty and stress in the environment. 

Prioritizing employee mental well-being through a series of experiments 

As a result of the four key themes identified, Discovery ran a series of experiments to see what was working and what was not working. Some of the experiments conducted were:  

  • A five-part mental well-being series covering several topics (including the importance, stigma, burnout, screen fatigue, and even wellbeing for kids!) 
  • Team initiatives - Power Hours, Meeting Free Afternoons, Brown bag sessions, Resilience toolkits, and bereavement and will support.  
  • Measuring success – dipstick surveys, employee engagement surveys, clarity in accountability, fully leverage data science, and then ideate based on data.  

Employees and managers were also already equipped with resilience tools, mental health platforms along with leadership buy-in. 

But how does this translate to the employee experience?  

Discovery ensured to equip all employees with the necessary tools and programs, irrespective of where they are in their own well-being journey.  

Zonke explains that Discovery has an active approach to wellbeing:  “Prevention is seen as the yardstick for success -, we really don't wait for things to completely fall apart, but we journey with the employee in understanding where potential issues may arise, and proactively we seek to manage those."  

To ensure the active approach is delivered, employees have access to something called "Healthy Company."  

Healthy company – a holistic wellbeing approach 

A healthy company is Discovery's program with an aspirational outlook on all four pillars of wellbeing (mental, physical, financial, and emotional). It is focused on a comprehensive understanding of employee wellbeing. It is both diagnostic and proactive, which sets it apart from other tools in the industry.  

How does a healthy company work?  

Everyone that interacts with a healthy company undergoes screening. This may include, for example, biometric data of employees that may be collected at a wellness expo or a wellness day. This gives an in-depth understanding of an employee's well-being and picks up any risk factors. Immediately if any risk is picked up, there is an intervention.  

The use of Coaching 

A coach navigates an employee through their entire well-being journey. The assessment is based on an algorithm – which then, with consent, a healthy company coach reaches out to guide the employee through whichever issue they may be affected with.  

The use of data 

The consolidation of the assessment results gives Discovery powerful data points for them to design proactive interventions, so interventions do not reside in a vacuum. Interventions are tailored on the back of the new one's understanding of the complete complexion of the workforce that you are dealing with. Results can be aggregated across the organization and filtered down.  

The remarkable thing is that the program is not only open to Discovery employees, but it is open to the market.  

It is also enabled with an app with your own personalized health dashboard - you will have a massive repository of educational content across all the four dimensions of wellbeing that you can leverage.