Customer story: Heltti keeping Gapps staff healthy
“Managers often think that the less people visit occupational health, the better. As if people were healthy then. I feel the opposite. The more Gappsians use Heltti’s services and get preventive care, the better.”
This is how the CEO of Gapps, Kasper Pöyry, sees the role of occupational health care. Traditionally employees contact occupational health care when they are sick. That gives a negative feeling to occupational health, something you just legally have to have.
“The biggest hurdle has always been that they haven’t understood the needs of knowledge workers and our way of being an employer”
Nina Uhlenius, HR and Culture Lead at Gapps, felt that most occupational health care providers are operating in a way that doesn’t suit the needs of modern knowledge workers. She wanted a health care partner that keeps the team healthy, not just wait for them to get sick. Someone that treats illnesses quickly and efficiently, but can support the development of healthcare and wellbeing for Gappsians.
“We’ve tried many services providers and the biggest hurdle has always been that they haven’t understood the needs of knowledge workers and our way of being an employer. The cooperation has been distant and forced, and I wanted more than a yearly report for Kela,” Uhlenius describes her previous experiences.
The solution was closer than Gapps thought, in their own clientele. Heltti has been a Gapps customer since Heltti was founded. Now the help is mutual.
Not your typical IT company
Gapps is helping companies to improve their ways of working and create digital work environments using Google Cloud technologies. Founded a decade a ago, Gapps is not your typical IT company, as its employees consist of people with a background in liberal arts, business, education and even food science.
“We’re not all coders, but we all share the love for technology and especially how it can make our lives easier,” Uhlenius describes the eclectic crowd at Gapps.
Gapps has a strong expert culture. People have a lot of freedom and responsibility to make decisions about their work and its organization. Self management is expected and supported. Even though Gapps produces digital solutions, the expertise of Gappsians is what makes the company’s business possible. Their health and wellbeing is paramount..
“Statutory occupational health care isn’t enough for us”
“Without our employees we couldn’t do anything, so we want them to be healthy and productive. Statutory occupational health care isn’t enough for us. We wanted to have extensive health services from a partner that understands the world of knowledge workers and helps keep our staff healthy, not just treat the sick,” Pöyry says.
Gapps management has noticed that employee engagement of ambitious people is sometimes so high that people put their health behind work.
“You might think that a lower number of sick days is a good meter for cooperation with an occupational health care provider. I don’t see it that way. If you’re sick, it’s better if you actually concentrate on getting better and not continue work. In this line of work, people often value work over their own wellbeing. From an employer’s point of view, less is sometimes enough,” Pöyry said
Support for mental health
Knowledge workers don’t work with their hands, but their heads. Work ergonomics and physical wellbeing need to be top notch, but brain ergonomics or mental health is just as important. In today’s world, you’re more likely to be on long-term sick leave because of mental health than a broken ankle or sore back. Access to mental health needs to be easily available.
Gapps CEO Kasper Pöyry wants to normalize visits to the psychologist. He himself sets an example.
“I’ve seen an occupational psychologist and benefited from it. With my own example I want to reduce the stigma related to this. I hope that the recent discussion in Finland on therapy helps make it a more common thing. Mental health affects everything. Therefore especially for someone working with their head, it should be as normal as can be to visit a therapist.”
“It’s clear for everyone that they are encouraged to contact Heltti”
The pop-up appointments of Heltti’s psychologists at the Gapps office have been very popular.
“It’s been a pleasant surprise for our employees that occupational health is now more present in their everyday lives. The kick-off Heltti organized in our office was a great start to our cooperation. It made Heltti feel easy to approach. Heltti can be contacted in many ways both live and remotely and it’s clear for everyone that they are encouraged to contact Heltti,” Uhlenius says.
Support for HR and superiors
For Gapps, it’s important that the cooperation with their occupational healthcare provider is active and transparent. With a user-friendly dashboard, Nina Uhlenius and Kasper Pöyry, can easily see where the company is health-wise. The numbers are discussed monthly. In addition, the company’s health status can be seen from wellbeing measurements and surveys. If something is in red, Heltti picks it up quickly.
“When Gappsians succeed, I succeed”
“As I’m the only HR person at Gapps, it’s been very fruitful to get help from Heltti’s experts whether it’s for my work or on a larger scale for developing the management practices at Gapps. I’m also very thankful that Heltti was in charge of educating our people on how Heltti works and what is included in our contract. Also, Heltti’s coaching sessions for our superiors have been very useful. When Gappsians succeed, I succeed,” Uhlenius describes her role.
The company culture at Gapps is founded on caring. People are genuinely interested in their colleagues and their wellbeing, not just their work performance. It’s easier to build on the company culture based on this genuine care.
“We are a family-like work community. Even though families can sometimes be fixed in their ways, this family is always eager to try and learn something new. We want to shake the status quo and disrupt the IT industry by being humane. That was one reason Heltti felt like the right match for us, as they are disrupting the health sector in a similar way,” Pöyry says.
Employees (2021): 30
Revenue (2019): € 7,6 million
Customers: Yle, Neste, Rovio, Futurice