Behavioural science start-up aims to help solve workplace productivity puzzle

Ali Khan

A behavioural science start-up has launched with a pledge to tackle the long-term productivity woes of British businesses by helping executives, managers and workers flourish.

Leeds-based SHAPE Global, an employee experience and organisational impact platform, has been created by Ali Khan.

He is the former chief science innovation officer at AXA Wellbeing, and a healthcare executive known for founding and globally scaling health projects, most recently designing and leading AXA’s Mind Health global index study to assess the mental health of 40,000 people across 16 countries, supporting annual reporting as well as NGO analysis.

Khan founded SHAPE Global with Dr John Lang, the former CEO of the Workplace Health Association of Australia and founding president of The Health and Productivity Institute of Australia (HAPIA) to better measure how employees are coping at work, and to help businesses make evidence-based decisions that measurably improve workplace productivity.

Developed over three years of extensive research and analysis, the start-up’s founders say they have uncovered the crucial factors scientifically linking employee actions to workplace productivity, and business success.

Dr John Lang

The acronym SHAPE stands for the System for Health, Attendance, Productivity and Engagement.

The platform analyses factors including workplace satisfaction, engagement, culture, and health to equip every employee, manager, and executive with a personalised and actionable pathway to help them and their teams measurably flourish at work.

SHAPE Global has already won backing from a number of global business leaders, five of whom have been appointed to join SHAPE’s advisory board to expand the reach and relevance of the firm to a global audience.

The new advisory board members are:

  • Gordon Watson, chairman of AXA Asia
  • Nicola Thompson, senior executive, Board advisor, and former CEO of
  • Ken Hoskin, vice president and head of APAC HR, Adyen, formerly with Meta and Airbnb
  • Craig Moss, executive vice president of measurement at Ethisphere, with notable senior executive roles across global institutions
  • Doug Hudson, managing partner and founding member of Braxton Capital

Khan said: “We’re actively helping businesses grapple with today’s prevalent concerns like return to the office, finding balance in hybrid working, solving talent retention issues, improving mental well-being.

“SHAPE data is already having a tangible impact on business decision. For one client our data revealed employees are struggling with disruptions from noise and temperature when working in the office. We fed this back to the client and they rapidly redesigned their office to create better working conditions for their team.

“Our data can also reveal employees who are suffering from burnout and depression as well as those who are coasting and give businesses and employees action plans to provide people with the support they need to make them more productive at work and to lead happier and healthier lives.”

Lang added: “I’m very excited about the quality of the appointments to our SHAPE Advisory Board. It is a huge testament to the value these global industry leaders see in SHAPE.

“The collective expertise of our new advisory board members perfectly complements our guiding mantra – ‘Know your people.’

“Each advisor brings a unique set of experiences, skills and their own shared goals of making a positive impact by helping businesses flourish.”