Size: 6-19 staff
Industry: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Here at chnnl, we provide a scalable, affordable and unbiased solution to help organisations and individuals protect and prioritise mental wellbeing. After facing unrelenting bullying and harassment in a toxic workplace that negatively impacted her wellbeing, founder and CEO, Dr Elizabeth Berryman, undertook years of clinical research before developing the e-mental health solution. Currently, our team supports clients across New Zealand, Australia and abroad, such as; AUT, South Australia Health, and St John Ambulance.
chnnl is a revolutionary digital solution, helping to ‘keep your finger on the pulse’ of organisational wellbeing by providing accurate and timely insights. Our team works tirelessly to continually innovate and raise awareness within organisations about the critical role management play in supporting positive mental health for their staff. Working in partnership with our clients, the chnnl solution ensures that the protection and prioritisation of employee wellbeing is at the heart of their Health and Safety activities whilst also providing tangible return on investment measurements.
Background on situation and opportunity
New Zealand workplaces are becoming more understanding and accommodating of EAP services and psychosocial risks. However, there is still a barrier in that some employees still do not feel safe reaching out to access these support services and organisations do not have a straightforward measurement of the return on investment of providing these services. Considering the significant financial and time investment put into managing psychological safety in the workplace and the tremendous benefit it provides employees, this is a huge opportunity when appropriately addressed.
The chnnl solution and strategy to address workplace psychosocial risk is in the form of a mobile application. Loaded with features such as journaling, daily check-ins, data-based insights into personal trends and our powerful AI-based chatbot, Delta. Our application is set apart from other e-mental health solutions as we ensure that everything we do is backed by scientific research and data-based analytics. Additionally, the collection and handling of personal user data is kept 100% confidential, ensuring that the data gained and provided for actionable insights by our customers can never be individualised. We work in partnership with our clients to ensure that we get to the core of their organisational culture and struggles, understanding that it is impossible to create a ‘one size fits all’ solution for employee wellbeing. In doing so, we work in collaboration to address their concerns and achieve their wellbeing goals with the chnnl solution. Additionally, we provide regular in-depth analysis about the current state of wellbeing in their teams, providing ‘return on investment’ metrics that can be reported to senior management.
When a client reaches out to our sales team, we first take time to fully understand their organisation's structure, culture and detailed information. This is what we call a ‘Needs Assessment’, wherein for organisations such as Mitre 10 New Zealand, we work with key stakeholders in the business (like HR Managers) to collect data about the current EAP offerings and employee wellbeing. This information is then analysed by our Data Science team, to which we provide actionable insights to the organisation on steps that need to be taken to address current issues in the organisation. With this in-depth information and understanding about the organisation, we continually work with them, implementing the chnnl app to continuously collect anonymous employee data through daily ‘check-ins’ and journaling. This information is analysed and provided back to the customer in a monthly ‘Deep Dive Report’ wherein we provide organisational psychologist backed advice to the customer to improve the situation of their employees. chnnl operates in partnership and trust with our clients, wherein we work closely with each customer to ensure the optimal solution for the organisation and their employees.
Engagement and communication
Effective engagement and communication with managers within an organisation and their staff is a priority for our team, as, without it, we cannot successfully help the organisation. When we first engage with an organisation, we endeavour to have all relevant stakeholders in as many conversations as possible; this vigorous stakeholder engagement may take longer to convert - but ensures that all relevant team members have had some ‘buy-in’ and can shape the solution to their individual teams’ needs. During an organisation’s launch with the chnnl solution, we take time to engage individual employees and offer our ‘chnnl champions’ programme, wherein individuals can opt into a program where they have direct communication with the chnnl team. The ‘chnnl champions’ programme works to educate and inform these individuals about the chnnl solution, as well as providing some tips into how they can support their teams and selves - which is tailored to the insights we have gained from their organisational data. The strength of the chnnl solution is that it allows employees and employers to communicate anonymously. Our clinical research showed that a blocker for some employees to reach out for help was fear of consequences on their job or relationships within their workplace. Therefore, by providing a secure third channel for employees and employers to reach out for help and communicate with each other, the chnnl solution is facilitating that conversation and breaking down barriers.
The positive impact that our work within our client organisations’, such as Mitre 10, St John Ambulance and South Australia Health’s Innovation Arm - Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health is two-fold, wherein we work to better the lives of their employees, organisational culture and ultimately help the organisations’ bottom-line. While we are still in the beginning stages of implementation, many of our organisations are already providing positive testimonials on its impact; we also have clinical research into the chnnl solution that proves the solution’s impact. This clinical research studied Canterbury District Health Board Post-Graduate medical students, randomising participants across a control and intervention group, who had the addition of Delta. The intervention group has so far shown statistically significant increases in personal awareness and utilisation of support options than control group participants. Therefore, offering evidence to the conclusion that the chnnl solution and Delta chatbot offers a positive impact on employees’ mental health. Additionally, Jarrard O’Brien, CEIH Executive Director of Human Centred Design and Innovation, has seen the immediate “results for our team with a better awareness of factors which impact staff wellbeing, we see innovative e-mental health tools as a key enabler to support the healthcare workforce and create environments where excellence and innovation in health can flourish.”. Ultimately, as the chnnl solution is technology-based, it is completely scalable and sustainable to offer to a wide range of businesses. Any organisation wherein employees have access to a mobile device can use the service to support their employees, especially supporting organisations that do not have daily in-person interaction with their staff members. Therefore, the chnnl solution offers undeniable positive impacts within organisations and externally towards societal understandings on organisational mental health and wellbeing.
chnnl has taken an innovative approach by adapting Professor Suzanne Pitama’s indigenous ‘Meihana model’ for well being in a health context and translated this to an organizational context, which we apply to all of our customers. Following this model, the organisation and employee need to work and exist in harmony together in order for both waka’s to reach Hauora (Wellbeing). There are multiple internal and external factors that impact the waka; the physical, mental and spiritual state of the employee, their whanau and the community and the wider context of the environment that the waka sails in as the changing winds can either assist or hinder its course. The winds may relate to diversity, inclusion, marginalization or significant events like a global pandemic that blows everyone off course to some degree. Using this model, we can describe the ever-changing nature of the forces that may positively or negatively impact the wellbeing of the organisation and the individual. At chnnl, we are working hard to remove the barriers for employees to reach out for help when they are in distress and making it easy for them to get help when they need it. We give them a safe and inclusive chnnl to anonymously tell their senior leaders in the business exactly what is happening on a day to day basis.
Innovation and creativity
Developing an innovative approach to addressing bullying, harassment, and workplace mental health and wellbeing is at the core of chnnl's mission. The chnnl application is pioneering a new technology-based approach to empower employees that is unbiased, scalable and without judgement. Our innovative stance that puts anonymity as a priority provides employees with a safe channel to reach out whilst being the first solution that measures ROI on human capital investment. What truly sets chnnl apart from other e-mental health solutions is that everything is backed by scientific research. Taking a service that is typically offered in-person to employees and turning it into a technology-based service is new and must be proven effective. However, both the University of Auckland and Otago independently evaluate and analyse the application of chnnl, demonstrating that the service actually makes a difference and can better the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Additionally, all of our recommendations and support provided to organisations is backed by real-time data analytics into what is actually happening in their organisation. By taking a step back and understanding that you can’t just offer employees EAP services but have actually to work on underlying organisational culture and societal barriers to addressing mental health issues, the chnnl solution is innovating the way that organisations look after their employees.
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Dr Elizabeth Berryman, CEO & Founder (chnnl)
0274067940 • [email protected]
Emma Chisholm, Marketing Coordinator (chnnl)
0278942117 • [email protected]