Scientific data is proving to be the bedrock of workforce resiliency in a world reeling from COVID-19. Commonly misperceived as an inborn trait, resilience is actually a tangible skill that Massachusetts-based meQuilibrium is building in employees at Fortune 1000 companies worldwide.
“Every leader is talking about adaptive capacity, resilience, and agility,” said Jan Bruce, co-founder and CEO of meQuilibrium. “We are democratizing executive coaching, helping people manage the stress and burnout associated with constant transformation and rapid change.”
Managing Stress with Resilience
As the pandemic spreads with head-spinning speed, meQuilibrium’s interactive, cloud-based platform appears ideally matched to what has become a rightfully panicked workforce.
Tracking steadily rising stress levels of employees on the meQuilibrium platform, the company sped up product updates to deliver refreshed daily tips and tool kits for managing anxiety, uncertainty, and isolation.
The startup’s worldwide customers cut across industries including pharmaceuticals, finance, telecommunications, packaged goods, and automotive. Many organizations have reported measurable benefits to date. One company reduced high anxiety by 36 percent, high stress by 27 percent, and depression by 24 percent in its large employee population.
Data-Driven Insights for Employees and the Organization
Employees using the secure, private app initially answer questions about how they think, behave, and deal with their emotions in situations. Combining this information with company data such as someone’s location and job responsibilities, the software creates predictive models that generate relevant, interactive, and skill-building activities, resources, and support. People can go the self-service route or opt in for regular information feeds. However, this is much more than just a content library.
“Using science, we identify what drives positive and negative behaviors,” Bruce said. “Each employee receives a highly personalized, prescriptive journey to help them become more resilient, empathetic, and emotionally intelligent. They learn how to improve their problem-solving and critical thinking skills.”
The platform also connects employees with company-sponsored programs, such as targeted training or behavioral health services. In addition, anonymized data provides organizations with benchmarking insights.
“We can show whether people have the skills and fortitude they need to manage through stress or change,” Bruce explained. “It’s everyone from managers leading large teams and creative people designing the next generation of technology, foods, and medicines, to people on the front lines driving trucks or talking with customers in call centers.”
The Science Behind Resiliency
Bruce co-founded meQuilibrium at the height of her career as a publisher, editor, and entrepreneur immersed in well-being and health.
“My obligations from business, as well as being a wife, mother, friend, and daughter, made me think about how much people struggle with the pressure of a 24/7 world,” she said. “It was one of those ‘If this is so great, why does it feel so bad?’ kind of moments. I had an amazing life but didn’t have enough time to do what I cared about most.”
In a metamorphosis that mirrored the personal growth vision for people now using the meQuilibrium platform, Bruce explored the meaning of resiliency and how technology could help.
“We wanted to get at the root cause of stress, meaning how we think about what’s going on around us and how we manage that,” explained Bruce. “That’s resilience, and it’s what makes people function and perform at their peak. The seeker in me looked at the entire body of science showing why certain people cope through adversity, high stress, and change. We based meQuilibrium on this foundational science.”
SAP.iO Foundries Opens Door to Unstoppable Innovation
meQuilibrium was among seven cohorts that participated in the healthcare-focused accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York last year. Bruce valued SAP’s go-to-market and product development advice, especially around integration with human capital management (HCM) suites.
“We’ve never worked with a company so connected and culturally aligned in giving us access to mentoring,” she said. “We feel validated that meQuilibrium has a major role to play. SAP is unstoppable in finding new ideas that will make everything in their portfolio work better. We feel like we are one of those innovations.”
Data is Foundational to Resilience
As COVID-19 disrupts the world, business challenges are mounting in real time, making resilience all the more important.
“In a way, we are HR first responders, helping organizations support the emotional well-being of employees who are housebound with their children or isolated on their own,” Bruce said. “We want to predict, prevent, and protect people, helping everyone understand how to balance between minimizing the dangers and worst-case thinking. This is an ongoing conversation we’re having with our customers so they can be both responsive and preventative.”
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This story originally appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.