Can an app improve federal workplace well-being?

Dr. Michael Haber
Feb 15 · 4 min read

We’re running an experiment to find out.

Workplace Well-Being is a Priority

As Canada’s largest employer, with a workforce of approximately 262,000 employees, the health and wellness of the Public Service are vital to the success of the Government of Canada. In the Clerk of the Privy Council’s recent Annual Report, he reiterated that “the mental health and well-being of our workforce remains a top priority for the Public Service of Canada.” Under the guidance of the Clerk’s Contact Group on Mental Health, the federal public service workplace mental health strategy was developed as an important step in the Government’s efforts to build a healthy, respectful, and supportive work environment that strengthens the public service.

To date, more than 90 deputy ministers and heads of agencies have signed the pledge to support mental health, and employees now have access to a range of tools, supports and training through the newly launched Centre of Expertise on Mental Health in the Workplace.

A Deputy Ministers Task Force Project

The Deputy Ministers Task Force on Public Sector Innovation, mandated to play an action-oriented role in experimenting with emerging tools and approaches, has identified workplace well-being as a key priority project for the Government of Canada Entrepreneurs.

With the support of the Task Force, we are exploring how technology-based solutions can be used to promote workplace well-being.

Only 56% of employees described their workplace as being psychologically healthy - 2017 Public Service Employee Survey

Carrot Rewards

Carrot Rewards is an AI-driven public engagement platform that leverages behavioural economics (nudge theory) to promote and reward responsible lifestyle choices. Carrot harnesses the power of the most popular consumer loyalty points programs to maximize its consumer appeal and user engagement. Learn more…

Over a million Canadian consumers are earning their favourite loyalty points through the Carrot app for consuming a broad range of wellness lifestyle content and for tracking and improving their daily physical activity levels.

The Pilot

  • Promote improvements in workplace well-being and awareness
  • Encourage positive workplace behaviour and relationships
  • Measure results

Approximately 1,400 employees from across four testing departments will be able to participate in a 3-month pilot program.

The following in-app elements will be included in the program:

  • One on-boarding baseline quiz
  • Rewards for daily step goal achievement
  • Rewards for Step Together Challenges encouraging competition among participants
  • Four short surveys related to improving mental wellness, resilience, and connections in the workplace
  • A follow-up survey to measure change over the duration of the program

This experiment has the potential to provide great results with relatively little investment. the entire pilot is being carried out under $25,000, including HST.

Approximately 1,000 employees from across the following four testing departments will be able to participate:

  • Department of National Defence
  • Statistics Canada
  • Transport Canada
  • Health Canada

Our participating departments differ in their composition, and responses to the Public Service Employee Survey.

Carrot abides by Canadian privacy law and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. The platform’s Privacy Policy can be viewed at www.carrotrewards.com/privacy-policy/.

The Team

  • Hamid Boland, Entrepreneur from the Department of National Defence
  • Dr. Michael Haber, Entrepreneur from Health Canada
  • Anthony Jaz, Entrepreneur from Transport Canada
  • Dr. Madeleine D’Agata, Defence Scientist in the Intelligence, Influence, and Collaboration section at DRDC Toronto Research Centre. Dr. D’Agata holds a PhD in social-personality psychology and conducts research in the area of mental health and influence. Her most recent work focused on the validation of the Mental Health Continuum Model in the Road to Mental Readiness mobile application.
  • Dr. Jessica Ward-King, Free Agent with Global Affairs Canada — Renovation Team. Supporting the renovation and move to Activity Based Workspaces in the NCR. Workplace well-being, Diversity and Inclusion and behavioural insights in workplace change.
  • Brian Jones, Government of Canada Entrepreneur

The Deputy Ministers Task Force on Public Sector Innovation, mandated to play an action-oriented role in experimenting with emerging tools and approaches, has identified workplace well-being as a key priority project for the Government of Canada Entrepreneurs. With the support of the Task Force, GC Entrepreneurs are exploring how technology-based solutions can be used to promote workplace well-being. Learn more

GC_Entrepreneur

A collection of blog posts published by Government of Canada Entrepreneurs (GCE) / Une collection d'articles publiés par les entrepreneurs du gouvernement du Canada (GCE)

Dr. Michael Haber

Written by

Health Canada @GC_Entrepreneur working with the Opioids Response Branch to support innovation. Views are my own.

GC_Entrepreneur

A collection of blog posts published by Government of Canada Entrepreneurs (GCE) / Une collection d'articles publiés par les entrepreneurs du gouvernement du Canada (GCE)

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