From a business perspective, many companies have invested in employee engagement initiatives but not all employers seem to understand the huge impact that an individual’s happiness has upon their work. There are some elements of life that employers may feel they cannot influence but they couldn’t be more wrong. The employers that value their employees’ happiness and provide services and support to create more workplace happiness realise major benefits. As well as being proud that they take care of their employees, research shows that such companies will see average productivity increases of 12%, or as high as 20% in some cases. So there is clearly a big win-win situation for both employer and employee to gain from.

So how do employers help their employees to achieve happiness? Of course, financial rewards can help but this isn’t the only solution. Other methods include providing more holiday entitlement, being transparent, encouraging a work-life balance and creating career pathways. Additionally, a simple thank you can go a very long way.

With an increasingly digitally focused society, it makes sense to incorporate technology into employee happiness initiatives and the convenience and popularity of smartphone apps makes it easier to secure employee engagement.

These 5 great apps that will help to drive employee ‘Appiness’ are:

1. Lyra Health

If you ask employees what really makes them happy in work, you will find that a lot of them tell you that they like to be treated as an individual. They feel more appreciated when they have more personalised interactions rather than one approach for all. So using apps that are personalised are a great way to boost employee happiness and a brilliant example is the Lyra Health app. Providing a ‘human touch’ that modern technology often lacks, Lyra Health is a mental health app that provides employees with care recommendations to get the mental health support that they need. Working directly with a team of therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists, Lyra Health is one of the most innovative workplace wellbeing apps on the market.

2. SuperBetter

This app creates short game style activities to complete that can help to build a happier lifestyle. Because it uses gamification, playing it becomes a fun experience rather than a laborious set of tasks. SuperBetter helps to build resilience in life, can improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression. The game involves a number of quests that reflect everyday challenges and helps users to deal with issues better.

It works on the theory that psychological strengths displayed during gaming such as optimism, creativity, courage and determination can be brought into real life. An example quest is ‘Collect Your First Five’ which relates to collecting ‘power-ups’. Or in other words, 5 things that make you feel better e.g. a song that makes you feel powerful, a food that makes you feel energised, or something that inspires you when you read or watch it. Creating that list and using it effectively will drive happiness and users enjoy completing and moving onto next quest levels.

With great graphics and interesting challenges, the app is a great happiness tool.

3. Sleep Cycle

As more research highlights the importance of good sleep patterns, apps like Sleep Cycle are helping people to feel like they wake up naturally without an alarm clock rather than dreading that sound of the alarm. The Sleep Cycle app monitors sounds to build data around sleep patterns, which it then uses to create an alarm clock that will gently wake users in their lightest possible sleep state (in time for their desired alarm time). By identifying the light sleep time, users are able to wake feeling fresher and like they have had adequate sleep to set them up for the day ahead. With a host of advocates including endorsements in CNN, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, it is proving to be the go-to app for busy people in demanding jobs that need to carefully manage and optimise their sleep.

4. Keas

Another app that taps into the power of gamification is Keas, a personal healthcare app that is being utilised by over 2 million members looking to address health issues in a fun way. The Keas app enables users to ‘connect, have fun and get healthy’. Users can create teams from their workplace and compete for prizes by completing challenges such as eating more vegetables, or doing some meditation. Users can take fun quizzes, track progress against fitness and dietary goals and upload photos to share activity and help to motivate others. The app is free of charge and is frequently updated to bring new features so that the app stays interesting and fresh.

5. StepJockey

Employers who take their employee wellbeing and fitness seriously are increasingly looking at solutions such as StepJockey. It is an innovative workplace health enabler that provides employees with an app to track stair use throughout the working environment. It makes workplace exercise more fun by setting up team challenges, or inter-departmental challenges to see who can get the most steps into their working day. Implemented in some of the most admired active buildings in the UK, StepJockey is transforming workplace health, one step at a time!