Article: Health tech is key to holistic well-being

Strategic HR

Health tech is key to holistic well-being

Can technology help us achieve holistic well-being? Lavanya Shrinagesh of Genpact, Dharm Rakshit of Hero MotoCorp, and Vineet Sikka, Country Head - Sales & Business Development, at MediBuddy uncover the answer at People Matters TechHR India 2022.
Health tech is key to holistic well-being

The past two-and-a-half years have thrown unprecedented and unimaginable challenges for organisations around the world. But as we step into the future with new knowledge and build a hybrid and positive workplace, it is worth reflecting on how we navigated the challenges of Covid-19. 

Notably, studying how organisations supported employees and society at large in maintaining their wellness can give us valuable insights into how to design the future of work and what the future of employee well-being look like. 

What actions did industry leaders take to help employees navigate the challenges of Covid-19?

Lavanya Shriganesh, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Genpact, explains how the company undertook comprehensive measures to help employees and the overall community. After all, the challenges of the pandemic were not limited to one organisation or location. 

Genpact partnered with state governments and set up helplines to assist everyone in need. It also provided meals for patients in isolation and for their families. 

The organisation also helped several non-profit groups increase their capacity to continue operating virtually. She adds that the company tried to shield its workforce from different Covid-19 challenges, including:

  • Giving access to healthcare services and infrastructure
  • Ensuring employee mental well-being
  • Providing reliable and accurate health advisories and information

Dharm Rakshit, Head of HR at Hero MotoCorp, recalled a time of extreme uncertainty, but the company went back to focusing on core drivers of wellness, which included the physical, mental, and spiritual health of every individual. 

Hero MotoCorp designed policies and changes, recognising the fact that their challenges were no longer just about their employees’ safety but the safety of their loved ones and the world in general, too. The company started providing direct healthcare services and support, such as oxygen cylinders, ventilators, and concentrators, to employees and their family members. 

At the peak of the pandemic and amidst strict lockdown restrictions, the company changed not just its physical infrastructure but also its employee workflow processes. A number of policy changes were enacted, including the expansion of the leave policy with special emphasis on family care. 

What are the lessons we can glean from the role of technology in enhancing employee health initiatives? 

At Genpact, Lavanya explained, everyone grew comfortable with digital health care. Besides partnering with service providers such as MediBuddy and Headspace, 24/7 help desks with medical professionals were set up to address physical and mental health challenges with 100% confidentiality. 

A special focus was made to normalise addressing mental health challenges and embracing them. The company’s global leaders were active on internal forums and networks to interact with employees directly and share personal experiences and challenges to drive home the message that it is OK to not be OK. 

Another lesson from the crisis was to ensure that technology served as a means for team members to connect, ask questions, and share their views. The company ensured employees had the space to be themselves, voice their concerns and be available for them. 

Dharm, meanwhile, said that technology played a central role in arresting the spread of the virus, not just at Hero MotoCorp but all over the world. The company created a robust digital system for the purpose of contact tracing and updating people's vaccination status, and integrated it with the company’s internal employee application. This made it easier to identify exposure, potential infection cases, and other health-related issues. When someone in the company got sick, they could access the company’s digital platform to get guidance from medical experts without having to meet doctors physically. 

Which factors should companies consider when using technology to reduce risks to well-being?

Confidentiality is one of the most significant factors in the medical industry, and more so if it is linked with the individual’s place of employment, said Lavanya. So, the first step is to build trust between the doctor and the employee and assure that there is no interference from the company’s end. 

This entailed giving employees the confidence and freedom to remain in control of their data. Thus, employers should not trade confidential information in return for easier access to telemedicine.

In addition to trust, Dharm said, the focus should be on expanding the scope of what wellness means for the organisation and the employee. Employers can use artificial intelligence in digital employee health cards to identify risks, enhance the experience, and give holistic wellness scores. But this score must include comprehensive data that cover different aspects of health and be updated from the very first day the employee joins the company. 

At Hero MotoCorp, data points from the employee’s annual health check-ups are used to organise focused interviews with doctors who discuss things such as lifestyle, genetics, and overall health status. 

Employees are counselled and mentored on improving their health and – depending on the case – further professional help may be offered. 

Above all, companies should not replace compassion with technology but instead use digital tools to bolster it. 

What is one thing companies can do now to create maximum impact on employee well-being?

With more than 1,15,000 employees globally, Genpact has worked hard to ensure that people do not become insular, explained Lavanya. 

Being stressed, anxious or unable to cope with changes in the workplace are experiences that everyone goes through. When employees do not know how to behave, engage, and interact, it is essential to create support systems that recognise them as individuals and give them security. 

The goal should not be to give them cookie-cutter solutions to their challenges but simply to acknowledge their struggles and give them the time and space to be OK again.

Dharm added how people in India continue to associate mental health issues with negativity and consider counselling or professional help to be a sign of weakness. 

Combating these myths and stereotypes is the first step that companies can take to create a positive impact on their employees. After all, when we start including mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects in our definition of well-being, our health can holistically improve.

To conclude, giving employees a great choice, easier accessibility, and personalised support is the first step to a healthy workforce. 

Corporate wellness leaders would do well to learn from the current digital payments economy, for example, where the transfer of information is easy, and services are seamless and within everyone’s reach.

Read full story

Topics: Strategic HR, #TechHRIN

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?