How digital technology is helping leaders to drive health, safety and mitigate risk

It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted to business leaders the requirement for new and innovative ways to support employees and increase access to health and wellbeing resources in the workplace. Digital technology provides such an opportunity. It bridges the gap of delivery of support services, particularly in the case of remote workers and presents less of a barrier for people to access support and avoid stigma.

Optimum’s data shows how the use of technology within corporate health, wellbeing and performance has several advantages, including assisting organisations to comply with the transformed Work Health & Safety Act. Legislation now requires employers to provide a psychologically safe workplace in addition to the physical health and safety of employees.

Beyond it being the right thing to do, there is also a clear return to the organisation. Through technology there is the ability for management to benchmark how employees are going and where to best focus workplace efforts. When resources are finite and leaders and HR departments can’t do everything, it allows businesses to achieve scale cost-effectively and manage workplace risk through a more connected and comprehensive platform. Detailed reporting on Optimum’s Health Hub for example, gives in-depth overviews of workforce wellbeing at all organisation levels, enabling leaders to track, review and compare data for early troubleshooting before risks can become costly to the business.

Phone apps, social media and web platforms have changed the way we interact with one another and the world. Now these technologies have become extremely useful tools in the workplace. While many organisations are still struggling to work out how to manage their human risk, online tools are providing rich data insights to benchmark employees and monitor change. Engaging a digital platform can not only start conversations with employees, but also provides an information hub that connects people to the right resources and support.

Whether it is managing weight, accessing mental health tools or drawing attention to respectful behaviours at work, digital techniques enhance the availability and reach of health and safety support in the workplace. They offer earlier detection of issues, measurement and follow-up and complement workplaces existing wellbeing and safety practices.

Organisations have a responsibility to their people. We used to think an employer’s duty of care ended the moment the employee walked out the door, but now it’s much broader and less easily defined. Not all employers will be able to provide around-the-clock support, which can be cost-prohibitive, but all employers can provide pathways to this care. Leveraging the strengths of digital technology, balanced against the need for social connection and support, digital platforms offer an accessible, affordable solution to support employees anywhere, at any time.

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