Phastar - recognizing the power of data in improving staff well-being

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags mental health depression Research Data management

In today's fast-paced and demanding work environment, the importance of prioritizing employee mental health cannot be overstated.

As Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 approaches, employers must recognize the power of data in improving staff wellbeing.

Peter Taylor, senior director, and global head of human resources at Phastar, sheds light on this critical issue, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to support employees' mental health.

“The costs of low mental health, both personal and economic, are well-documented, with 42% of employees globally reporting a decline in mental health since 2020,” notes Taylor.

This statistic underscores the pressing need for employers to act and implement strategies to address mental health challenges in the workplace.

Despite the prevalence of mental health issues, Taylor observes a notable gap in applying data-driven approaches internally to support staff wellbeing. “In the clinical trials industry, we've seen the transformative impact of data analytics in supporting personalized medicines.

“Yet, we often neglect to apply the same data-driven approach internally to address mental health challenges facing our staff,” he explains.

As Mental Health Awareness Week approaches, Taylor highlights the event's theme, ‘Movement: Moving for our mental health’, which underscores the role of physical activity in reducing anxiety and depression. “Movement is key to promoting mental wellbeing, and employers can play a crucial role in encouraging exercise among their employees,” he emphasizes.

One effective way for employers to support employee mental health is through the implementation of employer-sponsored digital health platforms. Taylor suggests that these platforms are scalable, convenient, and accessible, making them an ideal tool for promoting behavioral change and improving mental well-being among employees. “Successful initiatives will leverage data to tailor solutions, acknowledging that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to employee wellbeing,” he says.

Furthermore, Taylor stresses that investing in employee mental health is not just a moral imperative but also a smart business decision.

“Good mental health is not just a human right but also a sound business investment,” he explains. The economic costs of depression and anxiety on productivity are staggering, with the World Health Organization estimating losses of $1 trillion annually.

Reflecting on Phastar's efforts to support employee mental health, Taylor shares promising results from their utilization of Govox wellness surveys.

“From October 2022 to July 2023, the overall happiness score increased from 76% to 79%, exceeding the average of other organizations using the Govox platform,” he reveals. These results underscore the effectiveness of data-driven interventions in improving employee well-being.

However, beyond Phastar, the broader life sciences industry also faces similar challenges in addressing mental health. Taylor's insights highlight the need for a concerted effort across all sectors to prioritize employee wellbeing and support mental health initiatives.

In the face of unprecedented challenges such as the global pandemic, the need for robust mental health support mechanisms has become even more critical. Taylor emphasizes the importance of proactive measures, including the provision of resources, training, and support networks, informed by data-driven insights.

As Taylor concludes, organizations must remain committed to fostering a healthy and dynamic working environment that prioritizes employee wellbeing. “Creating a healthy and dynamic working environment will allow us to increase productivity and attract the very best talent,” he says. By investing in employee mental health, organizations can ensure the continued success and sustainability of their operations, benefiting both employees and the broader society.

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