It said that like all businesses, its staff have faced a variety of challenges during the pandemic and it wants to encourage wider and more open conversations around the benefits of positive mental health as the long-term effects of lockdown become clear.
The firm has enlisted the help of wellbeing tech specialist Frog Systems, which is chaired by veteran businessman Nick Kuenssberg and is also based in Glasgow – to develop a free-to-access digital platform.
Known as the GAP Wellbeing Hub, it contains bite-sized videos of people sharing their experiences and advice across a range of issues. Users search by topic, watch relevant videos and type in their postcode or location to be directed to the nearest support.
GAP Group said the anonymised data produced will give it insight into the issues its employees face, helping to improve decision-making around the provision of support.
It is available to all 1,800 GAP Group employees and their families across 146 locations in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Douglas Anderson, joint managing director of GAP Group, said: “The mental wellbeing of our workforce is just as much a priority for us as their physical safety and wellbeing. We want to reduce the barriers that might have prevented them from speaking out in the past and encourage them to be proactive about seeking help if they need it. We see our GAP Wellbeing Hub as an important step in lessening the stigma that exists around mental health in our industry.”
Frog Systems chief executive Phil Worms commented: “It has never been more important for employers to take care of the mental as well as physical wellbeing of the people who work for them. We are proud to have built a platform that helps GAP Group deliver this vital support.”
GAP said the construction industry has particular issues surrounding mental health because of its high percentage of male employees who are generally less likely to speak out about their personal struggles.
The firm said the GAP Wellbeing Hub “is another step in addressing that” and will complement the existing wellbeing strategies used by the company, which include providing mental health awareness training for line managers and on-going support and promotion of the construction industry helpline provided by the charity Lighthouse Club.
GAP says it is the UK’s largest independent firm of its kind, and has ten divisions offering hire equipment and services.
Frog Systems has developed software being used by organisations and businesses in many different sectors to address the surge in mental health problems that have arisen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year it secured more than £500,000 – mostly from existing backer Sir Rod Aldridge, founder and former chairman of Capita Group – to fund expansion amid growing demand.
The move followed the company having invested £1.8 million in developing its offering, and it being named winning start-up at the 2020 Start Up Summit.