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Data and analytics technology enables Stantec Australia to champion staff mental health

Using a new analytics technology that assesses and scores mental health, global engineering and design firm Stantec is taking action to support the mental health and productivity of its 800 staff in Australia.

11/04/2020 Sydney, NSW TSX, NYSE:STN

  • Focus on combating burn-out and workplace stress is higher than ever; in 2019 the World Health Organisation recognised employee burn-out for the first time
  • Stantec is using de-identified data, algorithms and analytics to improve staff mental health across its 12 Australian offices, provided by Australian company Medibio’s ilumen
  • Supported by ilumen™, Stantec’s new Mental Health program includes training and accrediting selected staff as Champions to provide mental health first aid across all offices

Recognising the need to support the wellbeing of its team members across Australia, Stantec has successfully deployed Medibio’s ilumen, a mental health tool. Ilumen™ enables staff to regularly score their wellbeing and provides the firm’s Human Resources department with de-identified assessment dashboards to measure employee wellness in areas of stress, anxiety, trust, time management and other factors that affect productivity. The technology also provides employees with individual feedback, tools and guidance to boost wellbeing.

The technology is supporting Stantec’s new Mental Health program, operating across the company’s 12 Australian offices. The program aims to build staff advocacy from the ground up through initiatives that include an accredited mental health first aid network in each office.

In Australia, mental illness is a leading cause of lost productivity, costing the Australian economy $10 billion per year and resulting in more than six million working days lost annually[1]. An Australian employee with depression is expected to take on average one day per week off sick[2]. Organisations are now beginning to acknowledge the rising statistics; in 2019 the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised “burn-out” for the first time as an occupational phenomenon caused by chronic workplace stress. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need to support staff mental health and wellbeing[3]. Lost productivity hours is one metric measured by the ilumen™ platform that is being used to guide the effectiveness of Stantec’s Mental Health initiatives.

Stantec’s Mental Health program was launched in October 2019, beginning with training for select Australian and New Zealand staff from 26 offices for accreditation in Mental Health First Aid. Three members of Stantec’s HR team were also accredited as trainers to maintain a self-sufficient network of Mental Health Champions as needs arise. This approach means open conversations about mental health can be led by accredited staff at all levels, not just HR or management. An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) also supports the program.

“The pandemic further shifted my perception of what it means to be a Mental Health Champion,” says Joy Sauvarin, Stantec Business Services Administrator in Melbourne. “We learnt fast how to stay connected while working remotely, but when that change became more routine, it freed people’s time to stop and reflect on everything going on. Our mental health program helps to normalise previously unspoken topics, making it easier for me to reach out and support my colleagues through this time.”

Stantec rolled out ilumen™ in May 2020 to support its overall employee wellbeing strategy, including Mental Health Champions. Since implementation, the technology has been taken up voluntarily by 20 percent of Stantec’s Australian staff. Staff can undertake fortnightly mental health assessments using a short survey coupled with the option to pair biometric data from the staff member’s device. This data is then processed by ilumen™’s patented objective algorithms.

Team member data is then securely de-identified, aggregated and scored by Medibio. De-identified analytics are presented back to Stantec’s HR team in easily accessible real-time dashboards. This analysis has become an important monitoring and reporting tool, with Stantec management receiving quarterly analytics as part of HR reporting.

Measurable results

The Mental Health program has been a successful catalyst for change at Stantec. Managers across Stantec offices are regularly given de-identified data points from ilumen™, such as trust, time management and stress scores, to initiate open conversations on mental health with their teams. Supported by these ilumen™ insights, the Mental Health program and smooth transition to remote working contributed to a successful business case to increase Stantec’s flexible work policy.

Kylie Ward, Stantec HR Director, Asia Pacific says, “As consultants, our people are our success, delivering a wide range of projects with different deadlines, community stakeholders and utilisation targets. It’s important that we actively support their mental wellbeing and provide tools that[SS1] [BP2]  allow them to be at their best. The current COVID-19 pandemic and restriction measures only reinforce this need. By understanding trends, we can now adjust and tailor the focus of our mental health initiatives and messages.”

Jennifer Solitario, Medibio SVP, Corporate Health says, “More Australian companies are recognising the importance of staff mental health, and the productivity and staff retention benefits of actively supporting wellbeing. Data and analytics can have a significant role to play in measuring change and delivering results.

“We are thrilled to support Stantec’s commitment to improving mental health. Using our algorithms, we are giving Stantec unprecedented visibility over stress, anxiety, trust, depression and other factors that affect productivity, which are important indicators for driving change.”

About Stantec

Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they’re our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN. Visit us at stantec.com or find us on social media.

About Medibio Limited 

Medibio (ASX: MEB) (OTCQB: MDBIF) is a mental health technology company pioneering the use of objective measures to aid in the early detection and screening of mental health conditions. Through its corporate health product, ilumen™, the Company offers mental wellbeing solutions for businesses. Medibio is also developing products to serve the healthcare provider market. The Company was founded in Australia, and has offices in Melbourne (Vic) and Minneapolis (MN) in the US. Medibio is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange Ltd and trades on the OTCQB Venture Market. Investors can find additional information on www.otcmarkets.com and www.asx.com.au

Media Contact
Paul Bromiley
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: +61 429 529 174
paul.bromiley@stantec.com

  1. Workplace Mental Health Institute, 2020. Link: https://www.wmhi.com.au/mental-health-statistics/
  2. Workplace Mental Health Institute, 2020. Link: https://www.wmhi.com.au/mental-health-statistics/
  3. Australian Government Department of Health, 2020. Link: https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/09/coronavirus-covid-19-mental-health-and-wellbeing-support-for-employees-during-the-covid-19-pandemic.pdf

 

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