Monash University and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global have announced an exclusive partnership to address mental wellbeing, and help drive performance and productivity in organisations across the Asia-Pacific region.
As businesses across the world take steps to recover from economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainty about the future is driving unprecedented levels of stress and burnout as employees are tasked with more responsibility with fewer resources.
This new partnership, known as Thrive Global Asia Pacific (APAC), will open doors for business and industry in the Asia-Pacific region to harness the world-renowned expertise of Thrive Global and Monash University to improve the mental wellbeing of their employees.
Thrive Global has worked with more than 100 companies worldwide helping individuals and organisations build resilience and drive productivity through its behaviour change technology platform. The US-based company has worked with some major multinational organisations, including Walmart, Hilton, SAP, Microsoft and Accenture.
Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global. She is also the founder of The Huffington Post and author of 15 books. Ms Huffington has been named in Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and by Forbes as one of the most influential women in media.
Ms Huffington said the business world was already in a mental health crisis before COVID-19, and this pandemic has only amplified the issue.
“In ordinary times, being able to manage stress and build resilience is important — and right now, it’s essential. Employee wellbeing underpins corporate performance and is a catalyst for growth,” Ms Huffington said.
“Our partnership with Monash University provides the opportunity to share all our science-backed tools and resources to help employees navigate the unique challenges and uncertainty we’re all facing right now, across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.”
Professor Ken Sloan, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President (Enterprise and Governance), said this announcement was testament to Monash University’s research strengths and global industry connections.
“At this point in time, as nations assess the ongoing social and financial impacts COVID-19 has had on their communities, we have a duty to look after the mental wellbeing of workers who continue to go above and beyond in their roles against insurmountable odds,” Professor Sloan said.
“The Thrive Global Asia Pacific Partnership will create lasting impacts and help lift organisational performance and results through evidence-based, personalised and holistic approaches to employee wellbeing.”
The Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) is the first partner for the Thrive Global platform in the region. With one of the most affected industries being the advertising and marketing sector, ADMA identified that this platform would provide much needed assistance to every business. The pressures of isolation, budget contractions and the inability to switch off have compounded an existing mental health epidemic.
“We’ve seen existing mental health issues accelerate across businesses as a result of COVID-19. As most organisations have a central marketing department, we believe this is an ideal way to positively affect businesses across the country. Marketers are usually early adopters and can communicate action. By offering Thrive as a tool to marketers first, we believe it will positively impact the whole business,” said Andrea Martens, CEO of ADMA.
Professor Alex Christou, Managing Director Asia-Pacific has been appointed to lead the Thrive Global – Monash University alliance through the Monash Business School.
He says wellbeing is not a one-size fits all for every employee and this is where Thrive Global’s programs are distinctive.
“To have two iconic and distinguished organisations, which take an evidence-based approach to mental health and wellbeing, creates the ultimate destination for organisations to illustrate that they care for their employees whilst simultaneously lifting performance through productivity and engagement,” Professor Christou said.
“We have the capacity to customise to each organisation and individual through an AI-driven digital journey to help instill new behaviours, protect mental health and lift performance.”
Monash Business School was the first business school in the world to embed Thrive Global programs as core to its prestigious Global Executive MBA program. Westpac’s Rebecca Koss was a participant in the Global MBA program in 2019 and said the Thrive Global module introduced her to the concept of organisational behavioural change.
“As a leader, this behavioural change continues to have positive impacts. It is not only essential for my health and wellbeing; it enables me to be the best person and leader on a day-to-day basis,” Dr Koss said.
Professor Simon Wilkie, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics and Head of the Monash Business School, said: “The strategic alliance between Monash and Thrive Global enhances the School’s reputation amongst industry, in Australia and globally, and reinforces the University’s commitment to providing a world-class executive education experience for organisations and employees.”