Mind control: Employers should use technology to their advantage

Tell us more about the wellness toolkit Saberr is developing.

Saberr’s focus is on developing engaged and productive teams. Our research has indicated that there are a range of factors that correlate with better team outcomes. These include having a clear sense of purpose and well defined goals and roles, as well as responsibilities, and having trust based relationships amongst team members.

However, there’s also a growing body of research showing that many teams deal with high levels of stress, and so having the energy levels and resilience across the team to deal with stress is key.

We think social support from teammates can be a critical factor here. Whether it’s getting adequate sleep, eating well or adopting principles of mindfulness (or just switching off the phone from time to time), the social support we receive from teammates can help us make behaviour changes.

Saberr’s new product CoachBot (a chatbot that acts as a virtual coach) encourages teams to discuss these factors of health and wellbeing, and creates strategies for maintaining healthy functioning teams. Depending on the user feedback, CoachBoat will suggest various activities and workshops to help resolves issues within a team that have a direct impact on employee wellbeing.

If money was no object, what health and wellbeing perks/schemes would you advocate employers have in place

It’s not just money it’s also culture. However, any budget that I did have I’d ask the teams themsleves how they wanted to use it whenever possible.

Are there any tech-based solutions bosses can rely on?

There are a range of options available now and more coming. I think part of the challenge is matching the right support (technology or otherwise) to the appropriate challenges. This is why we are trying to encourage teams to talk openly about physical and metal health.

How would you advise SME bosses address staff mental health?

With an open attitude. In the first instance, people need to feel free to talk. It’s then important that you have avenues for people to express problems and engage.

There are professional support groups that can help once people have felt free to express a problem, so I would advocate creating a culture where people feel free to speak up. I would also advocate tapping into established networks and support groups where possible.

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