To evaluate the impact of an on demand, digital mobile application deployed via smartphone on subjectively perceived and objectively measured stress levels of employee participants in a mobile digital stress reduction program within two corporate enterprises, as well as on self-reported wellness indicators.
A 6-month employee stress reduction program was implemented using a smartphone application with employee populations in Australia working in the construction industry and in commercial aviation. Participating employees were challenged to record and improve their perceived subjective and objectively measured stress levels, and other key wellness indicators. The intervention methods included providing easy to assimilate, timely education on the criticality of stress management, as well as conveying and reinforcing supportive motivational messaging and self-help tools at critical junctures. Straightforward messages imparted specific, personalized and practical educational content, tips and resources around the importance of stress reduction and on “how to” manage and reduce stress. Personal performance statistics were conveyed to each employee user, and awards and incentives deployed to increase program compliance and completion. Participants’ stress levels were recorded objectively via Garmin wearable’s measurement of heart rate variability.
Among construction industry employee participants, 54% reported decreased stress at work, and 18% stated that home stress decreased after a single 6-month program implementation. Cigarette use decreased markedly with 25% of participating construction employees quitting during the study period. Twenty-nine percent reported improved energy levels, 30% were able to reduce consumption of sugary drinks, and 15% reported greater psychological and emotional resiliency. One in four increased regular consumption of nutritious foods and reduced consumption of alcohol, and 64% reported feeling healthier after participating in the mobile digital program. Almost half of participants stated they perceived improvement in their job performance. Commercial airline employee participants reported reduced stress at work (41% reduction), and at home (38% reduction). Airline employees indicated that they would like to participate in future programs, and the airline’s net promoter score (NPS) improved substantially following mobile digital program implementation, with “very likely to recommend workplace” increasing by 9%, and its score of “very unlikely to recommend workplace” decreased by 50%.
The digital mobile employee engagement and program implementation evaluated in this study delivered a clinically meaningful reduction in perceived stress and other key wellness parameters. Because of the automation and rules-driven customization enabled by mobile application-based digital media, programs to reduce stress can be deployed rapidly at scale across large employee/enterprise populations in multinational settings. These results and impact achieved across a complex multicultural employee and enterprise setting are indicative of the power and value that digital mobile stress reduction and wellness engagement can deliver to employees.