Wellness System Development

CREATE AWARENESS, EDUCATION AND PROVIDE WELLNESS SUPPORT TO AN AUDIENCE WITH LIMITED EXPERIENCE AND ACCESS TO WELLNESS SUPPORT.

THE CHALLENGE.

Umuzi works with leading employers to equip talented young people with the scarce digital skills they need to access high-value careers. These youth come from a wide range of enviroments and backgrounds and often, due to the nature of South Africa.

One thing we encountered is that many of our recruits had various forms of trauma, challenging backgrounds, mental health challenges, difficult family or eviromental issues or a lack of certain soft-skills required to thrive in a modern, professional workplace enviroment.

MY ROLE.

Head of Wellness Development. 

Originally, this was not in my field or role. However, as a part of an organic process, I started working on “Soft-Skill Testing” within the organization and thus, the process and my own personal interest in personal development led to me identifying a set of core needs within the organization.  Thus I became the Project Head of this area, with various team members joining to help faciliate this department.

A HUMAN CENTERED APPROACH TO BUILDING INTERVENTIONS.

Human Centered Design has become a very versatile methodology to approach complex issues with groups of people involved and challenging factors.

The Process

      • EMPATHIZE : Through Empathizing with our recuits some key insights came through. .

INSIGHTS

ACCESSIBILITY

Seeking emotional support requires a certain level of access in both time and money which often was not within our recruits ( students ) means.

LACK OF AWARENESS

Through the process, we uncovered many recruits who was not aware of their own needs, including struggling with severe depression and anxiety which impacted their day-to-day function. This was percieved to be “normal”.

STIGMA

The topic of Mental Health and Wellbeing was often seen in the youth as a taboo subject, seen as someone being “weak and lazy”.

LACK OF SUPPORT

Families would often not be supporting of the youth in their career choices, or their emotional needs; often preferring to not discuss more complex emotional problems. Friends provided a level of support but deeper emotional needs and challenges made individuals be described as “crazy”.

      • DEFINE: We identified that we needed to succeed in a couple of areas in order to provide real value in the lives of the recruits.Namely, we needed to
      • PROTOTYPE: We ran with various prototypes during this time
        1. Product Team Leader Standups : We had a daily standup to define what aspects we will be prototyping either that day or that week as well as feedback to challenges and successes.
        2. Content Creation Prototyping: Due to the fact that all content during this time was being posted online, we started iterating more rapid, low fidelity tests of content types and ideas.
        3. Process Development: During this time, I started further practicing Agile and Product Team development, and thus broke departments into various Product Teams, all learning and developing.
        4. Feedback Session: With various teams, leaders and departments all prototyping new ideas and systems, we created a Feedback session to share learnings which enabled teams to collaboratively learn from each other and speed up the process.
      • TEST: We ran the system for 2 months with sharp and rapid learns and turn arounds and clearly defined objectives.

RESULTS

We were able to convert our Creative Content and Social Media teams fluidly into an Agile Workflow via Human Centered Design, with minimal disruption to exisiting work demands, with empathy for the change managemment required, while delivering quality results on the final output.

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Increase in amount of content being created
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Increased Engagement online

KEY OUTCOMES

LEARNABILITY

We faciliated both leaders and juniors to learn a new methodology within a framework that ensured balancing education and exisiting deadlines.

QUALITY

Through the usage of HCD to faciliate the prototyping of Agile, we were able to create more engaging media in shorter timelines.

SCALE

We were able to bring Agile management and Product Teams to very unique teams with very unique needs and demands in a way that allowed the teams to seamlessly interact with each other.

EXPERIENCE

We were able to ensure that while there were teething pains and frustrations, that we were able to facilitate those in the right way to ensure we come to a result which was favourable by all.

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