Today, it’s hard to imagine a time when people didn’t think much about stress. Now it seems to permeate our consciousness. I spoke about that with Jan Bruce, CEO of meQuilibrium, an expert on the hyper-demanding work environment that’s become so commonplace.
“We’ve always had to cope with pressure, which gives us a sense of urgency and helps get things done. But there are diminishing returns,” she observed. “People have woken up to the realization that we are under too much stress and too much of it leads to burnout. I don’t recall CEOs talking about burnout 20 years ago. Now employers are recognizing that their employees are overloaded, and they are looking for solutions.”
Coping with Burnout
How did this come about, I asked, and how does stress impact employees and employers in the business world? “Anxiety is the sister of technology transformation,” Bruce said. “People don’t have the ability to handle the constant change and uncertainty and incessant obligations of the ‘always on’ environment. The problem has reached epic proportions, with an employee population seriously at risk of depression and anxiety. Digital transformation must start with workplace resilience.”
The meQuilibrium Resilience Suite is a science- and data-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that sits at the intersection of human performance and well-being and helps employers foster readiness for change and adaptability. It supports a multifaceted, enterprise-wide program that can shift the entire culture, encompassing individuals, teams, and entire organizations.
Advancing a Learning Mindset
Yet the solution takes a holistic and highly personalized approach, Bruce shared. “It uses a clinically validated assessment that correlates with cognitive, behavioral, and psychometric instruments such as the Workplace Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire (WPAI) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to assess all aspects of the employee’s life that are causing – or can reduce – stress levels. Whether it’s an issue with home life, relationships or workplace conflict, the key question is, what is the root cause? What is holding you back? How can you develop a skill set to be more effective in each area? What are your sources of strength? These are the issues we evaluate,” Bruce explained.
Predictive models provide a personalized learning journey for the employee that might involve upskilling or re-skilling, improving communication abilities, or developing deeper emotional intelligence – and how to think about and navigate change.
As a holistic whole person, whole company solution, meQuilibrium Resilience Suite focuses on leadership development, empowering managers to model resilient behavior, and serve as the critical link to employees.
“Just because you have a solution doesn’t mean you have an organizational approach. It has to be embedded, with a learning mindset that enables agility,” Bruce noted. “One Fortune 50 automaker that uses our solution was able to switch overnight from manufacturing seatbelts to producing personal protective equipment during the pandemic.” Deployment and adoption happen quickly — within a matter of weeks — enabling this kind of fast pivoting.
Gaining Insights Through Powerful Data Integration
Thanks to integration with the SAP SuccessFactors Learning and SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding solutions, meQuilibrium Resilience Suite combines data from these different sources for a powerful way to arm HR leaders with predictive insights about burnout, engagement, and workforce impairment risks. She added that customers are beginning to do even more with the data; for example, to support social responsibility and diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
I asked Bruce about the company’s original introduction to SAP.
“We were delighted to be invited to participate in the SAP.iO Foundries program in 2019,” she replied, “and I can’t say enough about the value of the program and its leaders. At the time, we were already working with dozens of Fortune 100 companies. This partnership revealed how we could play a role in supporting them with their technology transformations and helping their people by augmenting the SAP product portfolio.”
As for improving personal well-being, Bruce came up with the concept for meQuilibrium when she herself was facing career-related challenges. Ten years ago, Bruce was “living her dream” as a managing director at a major media company, and had become an expert in well-being and personal growth. But against the backdrop of the media implosion, the work environment had become increasingly frenetic. “I needed a battle plan and a structure,” she remembered, “and I thought, there must be others feeling this way. I began to explore creating a practical tool that uses standard protocols based on behavioral science. I left a company I loved, but never looked back.”
Today, Boston-based meQuilibrium has about 75 employees, scores of name-brand customers, and users in over 85 countries and growing.
Trying and Buying Seamlessly on SAP Store
At the end of 2020, meQuilibrium added two multinational corporations to its list of customers through transactions on SAP Store. The solution is multilingual, now available in 14 languages, which is of course a prerequisite for global companies. “SAP Store provides a single location where customers can learn about us,” Bruce remarked. “It creates a more seamless experience for them and heightens our visibility.”
If you’re looking for a way to help people stay productive and upbeat – and boost organizational agility – you’ve found it in meQuilibrium Resilience Suite. To learn more, registration is open for meQuilibrium’s annual conference, Resilience 2021, being held June 8-10, which showcases innovators and experts leading the way in building organizational resilience.
Bill Rojas is senior director of Business Development and Partner Alliances for SAP Digital Commerce.