Case study: My Wellbeing app

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Intranets and specialised microsites are not just the first port of call for internal information about a brand or new campaign. They can also contain information for employees about health and safety, fitness and general wellbeing.

One such site is mywellbeing.org, which was developed by Leeds Metropolitan University’s (LMU’s) student-led in-house development studio, to tackle the biggest cause of absenteeism among staff at the university – stress.

LMU head of safety, health and wellbeing John Hamilton says: “In 2009, we were in a tricky place at the university – relationships with the unions weren’t great and we needed to invest in engaging with our staff, particularly around wellbeing.”

The site, which was developed in 2009, features more than 190 topics ranging from repetitive strain injury to pregnancy, but has been designed not to overwhelm users by only featuring five key pieces of information on each page.

The user interface has also been created to be approachable. People have the option to pick from a range of emotions which lead them to relevant information, or key topic icons.

Hamilton says: “The way it has been branded is neutral from the organisation so it doesn’t look like the university wagging its finger.”

After the university introduced the site for its own staff, other organisations began to show interest and at the end of 2009, the studio started developing bespoke solutions for clients such as Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Northumbria NHS Trust and London Metropolitan University.

LMU launched a mobile app version of My Wellbeing last month as a response to the needs of its mobile workforce. As well as being useful for those without a fixed work space, the free app allows users to dial useful numbers straight from the content.

The university calculates that it has saved £75,000 a year in wages since introducing My Wellbeing, as well as qualitative research suggesting higher staff morale.

Hamilton says: “If employees feel you’re a bit more caring and you’re trying to do something to point them in the right direction, it has a very positive effect.”

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