RCA Service Design Project for Telefonica on Stress and Wellbeing at Work
Problem analysis, User research, User test, Workshop facilitator, Market analysis, UI design
Culturo is a startup workplace tool that uses data to create bespoke cultural rituals to promote cultural inclusion. It enables employees to voice their cultural needs and founders to lead cultural change, in order to reduce employee stress, and improve employee mental wellbeing and company's productivity.
Alpha Health is an innovation facility created by Telefonica, focusing on delivering innovative solutions in respond to challenges in the health sector. Alpha Health 's mission is to "reduce chronic diseases by increasing people's happiness and enabling positive behaviour change".
As part of this mission, they wanted to focus on 'working with stress'; investigating the question on "how might we help people manage their stress and improve their mental wellbeing in today's digital work environment"?
We approached the brief by researching on types of professions to narrow down our audience, and we found that in startups, especially the growing tech startups with 30-100 employees, due to job-skill gaps and a desperate need to attract and retain talent, workplace environment is highly toxic.
In growing tech startups, due to a lack of defined culture, diverse employees are stressed. Up until 30 employees, the team is homogenous and based on the founder’s personal network, so culture is developed from their similar behaviours and norms. But when diverse hires are being brought in, they are left to navigate this unintentional culture. Besides this they also don’t have HR to champion employee experience.
Thus, the core problem is that the founder’s focus on growth creates a workplace where culture is ignored, allowing negative behaviors to persist and employees to function in toxic workplaces.
Based on our research, diverse employees are looking for inclusive workplaces where they feel like they belong and can be themselves, have equal opportunity, and unbiased interactions. But what they really experience is a workplace that is focused on growth over experience, is mostly homogenous and where biased behavior is rampant. Diverse employees report they feel a pressure to conform, can’t be themselves, and less opportunity for promotion.
This biased behaviour makes employees feel isolated, under-valued, and voiceless. This hurts their wellbeing, increasing stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. On a company level, the employee is less healthy, productive, engaged, and loyal -- and costs to the company are increased due to attrition and healthcare.
So, how might we enable employees to voice their cultural needs and founders to lead cultural change, in order to reduce employee stress and improve company productivity?
Culturo is a startup workplace tool that uses data to create bespoke cultural rituals to promote cultural inclusion, thus, sitting at the intersection of design, rituals, and organisational culture.
Our two main rituals are the macro-ritual of the company-wide cultural standup that creates shared cultural expectations, and the micro-ritual of a ‘behavior of the month’ which is a positive behaviour to practice based on the negative experiences of employees.