As Australia and parts of the world face yet another wave of COVID-19 restrictions, Plastfix has taken the lead developing a mobile and online app to better manage the wellbeing and mental health of its staff.
The app developed by Tradiebot was inspired by events during the early stages of the pandemic with the growing need to increase communication with staff during this tough and ever-changing environment with many unknowns. It uses simple, intuitive and easy to use user interfaces for mood expression and mood trend visualised analytics.
Communication takes place as standard messenger type chat function with wellbeing support and the possibility for a direct call. Every mood expression is stored and associated with the actual positive and negative social and company events for further Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered predictions and analyses. The HR team manages all responses and provides an opportunity to communicate directly with staff who are raising concerns related to negative moods that are usually early signs of issues in the workplace, and or to offer potential mental health support.
Kane Eveleigh, Team Leader from Plastfix said: “This is a great example of management showing that they care about us in these very challenging times. It’s great to be able to express how you feel just by pressing a mood button on an app rather than speak to another person about your issues. I have personally found it difficult at times dealing with the situation in NSW and just having the ability to chat via SMS with our support team has been a great help.”
The app is the brainchild of Plastfix CEO Mario Dimovski who has a solid track record of driving innovation and digital transformation in the industry. “When the pandemic first occurred, we had little option but to reduce our staff’s working hours by half. I decided to personally call each of our 40 staff to advise them of the decision, but to also assure them the future of the company was solid and that we will get through this together.”
Although Dimovski thought it would take him half a day for a “quick chat”, it turned into a two-day exercise as everyone took the opportunity to get a lot of the anxiety off their chest.
“I invited them to reach out to me directly if they needed to talk, but what I found was that all the contact was by SMS, which made me think about how I can channel this into a program or software application to better manage my team’s wellbeing and allow them to have a simple way to express their feelings at the press of a button.”
Within a few days, Dimovski and Tradiebot CEO Nikola Rendevski, had created the Wellm8 solution which was initially trialed with their New Zealand team to great success, including suggestions on how to enhance this app, which they subsequently implemented. “The result is that we now have the luxury of getting real time reports on how our staff are feeling and as a business we are in touch with our number one asset making sure their wellbeing is our priority,” concluded Dimovski.
As an IBIS Ambassador Dimovski has offered the solution to IBIS who is now considering the best way to offer this wellbeing application to the industry using the IBIS network that includes 100 businesses with thousands of employees across the world.
The automotive, and collision repair industry in particular is still a male-dominated workforce with a history of taking “I’ll be right” mentality on wellbeing issues to avoid the perceived stigma of being unable to handle the pressure. This of course must change. Wellm8 is a huge step forward and credit to Dimovski for taking this initiative and developing the tool that gives staff a better way to reach out and be heard on matters of wellbeing and mental health.
Editor: Of all the things born this pandemic, this surely is one of the most important initiatives as it really does focus on what really matters – us.