Enhancing Mental Health in the workplace: Leveraging technology for frontline worker wellbeing

Enhancing Mental Health in the workplace: Leveraging technology for frontline worker wellbeing

Technology plays a critical role in supporting the mental health of frontline workers. Our HCM experts at BDO explore practical tools, strategies, and insights to help companies better integrate these technologies through effective Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions. 

Focus on mental health and wellbeing

The focus of this article is on an area that touches us all at some point, either directly or through a colleague or friend, and one that has always existed but is today better understood with greater awareness: mental health. While all of us should prioritise our mental health and that of our staff, a certain cohort could benefit from more attention to this topic - frontline workers.

 

So, who are frontline workers?

Officially, a frontline worker is someone "who must be present in a specific place and at a specific time to perform their jobs." They're your 'on the ground' employees who engage directly with the public or provide services that are essential to an organisation. Globally, there are over 2.7 billion frontline workers covering every industry.

 

The recent headlines paint a very worrying picture of the decline in mental health and, in particular, among the world's frontline workers. However, this has also spurred many companies into action, looking at ways to combat the decline and put in place initiatives that put frontline workers' mental health needs at the forefront of their people strategy. The companies that are actively investing in this area are not only addressing a pressing issue but also starting to reap numerous benefits around retention, engagement, absence, and productivity, which can inspire other organisations to follow suit.

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The consequences of neglecting mental health in your business 

Ignoring mental health issues can significantly affect various aspects of your organisation. It’s crucial to identify these challenges early and implement effective solutions to mitigate their impact. Here’s a look at the key areas your business could be affected:

  • Reduction in productivity
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Higher turnover and leavers
  • Reduced employee engagement and morale
  • Legal and compliance issues
  • Impact on a company's reputation


What’s available for your business to address rising mental health challenges in the workplace? 

 Various tools are now available to support your efforts in prioritising mental health initiatives for your workforce.


Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

  • Mental Health Resources: There is an increased emphasis on providing mental health support, such as access to counselling services, mental health days, and stress management programs. 
  • Mental Health Apps: Apps like Headspace, Calm, and BetterHelp provide resources for mindfulness, meditation, and access to mental health professionals, supporting stress management and mental health.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Digital platforms offer confidential counselling services and mental health support, making it easier for employees to seek help when needed.
  • Remote Work Tools: Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack facilitate remote work, offering flexibility that can promote collaboration and engagement with others in the team.

 

Work-Life Balance

  • Work-Life Balance: Through flexible working, remote work options where possible, and reduced overtime are being introduced to help frontline workers maintain a healthier work-life balance.
  • Flexible Scheduling Tools:  Software that allows for flexible scheduling and time management helps employees balance personal and professional responsibilities more effectively.

 

Personalised Wellbeing Programs

  • Data-Driven Insights: HCM Analytics tools can gather data on employee well-being and help organisations tailor their well-being programs to address specific needs and trends.

 

Ensuring effective use of technology to support mental health

Technology is only ever a part of the solution and a great enabler for companies to firstly understand the need through greater data insights, and then provide tools to help managers and employees.  

 

At BDO, we’ve learned that for technology to be effective and have the greatest impact, organisations should:

  • Implement Training: Provide training on how to use wellbeing technologies effectively. Key here is to review training and ensure new people joining the company receive the same level of knowledge needed.
  • Encourage Use: Promote the use of these tools and integrate them into the workplace culture. Have champions who can actively promote the tools and help the team to access them.
  • Monitor Impact: Regularly assess the impact of these technologies on employee wellbeing and adjust as needed.  Through positive feedback, companies can effectively judge what's working and what isn't and improve for a stronger impact.  
  • Maintain Boundaries: Set clear boundaries to prevent over-reliance on technology and ensure it supports, rather than hinders, wellbeing.

Employers can significantly enhance the overall well-being of their workforce by thoughtfully integrating these technologies and maintaining a balanced approach.


Conclusion

Technology plays a crucial role in enhancing the mental health of frontline workers. By thoughtfully integrating HCM tech, employers can significantly improve their teams’ mental well-being. 

Here at BDO, we are proud of our record of delivering real transformational change for our clients through our strategy and consulting, as well as HCM platform implementation services. We believe in partnership and collaboration, delivering best practices, and focusing on tangible outcomes for all our clients.

Discover how BDO's HCM Tech implementation can support your organisational goals, including mental health initiatives for your workforce. 
For personalised advice, visit our HCM services page or contact our experts directly.