When Vincit decided it needed agile support for individual, holistic and coaching leadership, the HR platform LaaS was born. As the tech company could not find a suitable solution on the market, they decided to create one themselves. Vincit HR Director Johanna Pystynen led the operation to take the LaaS model out into the world, and is now the CEO of Guidin (formerly LaaS Company). The life of an agile startup company is full of twists and turns, so it felt natural that the team would continue to use the Auntie service to ensure wellbeing at work. After all, they were already familiar with the service from their time at Vincit. “We knew that Auntie’s service model was well suited for the IT industry. For many, a lower-threshold approach is easier than making an official appointment with the occupational healthcare provider.”
LaaS service offering makes all support options visible
“Our employees usually work very independently, but when it comes to reflecting on wellbeing, anticipating the future or systematically planning how to develop one’s professional expertise, self-direction is not that easy,” Johanna says. The LaaS or Leadership as a Service model, the employees are offered support in the form of services. The range of services shows what is to offer from internal service providers, such as colleagues, HR and management, as well as from external networks. Vincit employees can also count on Auntie’s services.
"With Auntie, we can solve small problems before they turn into bigger ones. The service pays for itself many times over."
Johanna Pystynen, CEO, Guidin Oy
“It was a great realisation for us that it is easier for people to use the support available to them when it is conceptualised concretely, and all forms of support are gathered in one place,” Johanna says. “We described the services in a way that was interesting for our staff, just as Auntie has done.”
“Many of our customers also offer Auntie services to their own employees. Auntie is clearly well suited for modern human resource management”, says Johanna.
Data-driven service offering
Johanna says that they wanted Guidin's employees to regularly stop for a moment and take a comprehensive look at their own situation. A wide range of opportunities fro reflection, ranging from wellbeing surveys to heart rate surveys, employee experience and competence surveys, were imported to the platform. Being constantly available, they give the employees a framework for everyday wellbeing. The respondents are able to access a comprehensive results view immediately after filling out the survey, allowing them to reflect on their own situation compared to the organisation as a whole. The results and noteworthy issues highlighted by the tool help outline the main areas for development. The service plan allows each and every employee to build an individual support structure that is continually updated.
The HR team knew that it was not very easy for employees to make an appointment with a psychologist. Instead, they would simply try to push through and shoulder the mental load alone. IT training tends to be technically oriented and substance-centric, so reflection skills are not necessarily everyone’s forte. Auntie’s concept lowers the threshold for opening up a conversation, and the confidential service offers a neutral alternative for occupational health services.
Be it trouble with a romantic relationships or overachieving tendencies, Auntie is here to help
The service experience, the usefulness of the service, as well as how widely they are used, are continuously evaluated on the LaaS platform. Auntie’s service offering has been popular and received ratings of four to five stars on a scale of one to five. Monitoring service data is important, since it allows organisations to ensure that they are offering the right kind of support to their employees and allocate resources accordingly. For example, during the pandemic, certain needs became less relevant or were replaced by new ones overnight, as the company switched to remote working practices. Employees’ spouses were also granted access to Auntie during the pandemic.
“Some of our customers’ Auntie favourites, such as the Loveboat Sinking (relationship) package, have been a surprise to us as well. At first, we were unsure of how the customer’s engineering staff might feel about it, but it turned out to be one of the most popular services of the offering. This is a good example of how a selection of services outlined by the HR might not always be the best option. Instead, it makes more sense to offer a wide range of services and let the people show you what works for them,” Johanna says.
“Our customers use teamwork-related services, such as the Auntie Dream Team in Process package. Many companies are run by teams and want to support the self-direction skills of their teams and give the teams tools that allow them to concentrate holistically on every aspect of their work. The Lost in Transition package has also been very popular.” Johanna says that many conscientious IT employees stand to benefit from trying out the Overachiever package. Generally new hires tend to be very passionate about what they do. This means they may easily end up taking on too much work, as they want to excel in every area, even if it would not be necessary.
Auntie’s humorous approach makes the service a low-threshold option
Auntie offered a new kind of humorous and relaxed approach to such a serious matter as mental health – and it clearly worked for Guidin and the IT industry. The best thing about Auntie is that it is such an approachable, low-threshold service. Seeking out support early on even for minor problems affects everything: teamwork, the general situation of the organisation, an the person’s own wellbeing. “When people dare to stop for a moment to reflect and seek low-threshold support in time, the need to make a mountain out of a molehill in occupational healthcare simply never arises.” The wide range of packages designed for specific problems makes it easier to subscribe to the service and start a conversation. Auntie has also responded to new working life phenomena in an agile manner by developing new concepts.
Auntie pays itself back many times over
“Introducing Auntie really pays off,” says Johanna. “Tackling challenges related to mental wellbeing in a timely manner and giving people the support they need before the challenges escalate allows organisations to achieve significant cost savings and is a prerequisite for success. In our industry, the challenges do not lie in adequate substance expertise – this is something we are already good at. Potential challenges and stressors are usually related to adapting to change, the way everyday work is organised, personal chemistry or an employee’s personal life. These issues do not make easy topics for discussion within teams, and they may be hard to resolve without the support of a neutral party, such as Auntie. With Auntie, we can solve small problems before they turn into bigger ones. The service pays for itself many times over.”