Lanes Group’s ‘happy app’ spots signs of mental health problems

lanes group

Lanes Group is aware of the demands and stresses placed on employees, and is determined to catch mental health issues as early as possible among its 900-strong workforce. It does this with a simple measurement system, using a wellbeing app to track employees’ moods.

Andy Brierley, technical director at Lanes Group, says: “In today’s society, measuring happiness is incredibly important; we’re well aware that a focus on health and wellbeing can lead to more engaged, more productive employees.

“The direct output from this is improved retention, less attrition and increased productivity; essential, tangible objectives in any successful organisation.”

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Field employees and subcontractors can access a wellbeing app, which allows them to select whether they feel ‘very happy’, ‘happy’, ‘neutral’, ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’ at the beginning of a shift.

Clicking ‘very unhappy’ prompts a confidential call from an independent counsellor to talk through any personal or work issues.

Employees based at the head office in Slough also have a ‘happiness measuring screen’ they touch when they start work, and have confidential access to the counsellor via email, telephone or face-to-face meetings.

The platform, dubbed by employees as the ‘happy app’, was rolled out in January 2017. In June alone, 732 employees and 118 sub-contractors used it, returning a total of just under 16,000 responses.

The service is backed up by mental health first-aiders, members of staff at head office, who are trained to help and approach colleagues with mental health issues. Physiotherapy over the phone is also offered, as well as workshops on different health-themed topics.

While the head office has a 50-50 ratio of men and women, most of the field staff are male.

Amelia Millan, HR adviser, says: “Suicide is the leading cause of death among men under the age of 45, and we want to encourage our employees to make use of the service. We know that mental health is a huge issue in the UK, and our director is very keen to make sure we offer support inside and outside of work.”