How to make your employees thrive at work and in life!

10 October 2023Blog10 min

World Mental Health was a good day to talk about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Actually, every day is, since this topic is close to our hearts here at GoodHabitz. So we decided to host our global online event on the 10th of October – the day itself! In this blog post, you’ll find the key learnings from our online event ‘Time to thrive’. Continue reading for the full scoop!

Putting employee wellbeing front and center.

Your employees should be at the heart of your company strategy. Because your people are what drives your organization forward, and if you want your organization to reach new heights, you have to take care of your people! Together with GoodHabitz’ HR Director Sandrien Boogaard, Double Olympic Champion Dame Kelly Holmes and industry giants Vueling and Mammut, we tackled this topic during our event on World Mental Health Day.

Mental health is not black and white. The human experience is a spectrum of emotions and circumstances that impact our mental wellbeing. What affects you, might not affect another. And vice versa! However, everyone can do something; either as an individual, but as well as your in your team and your entire organization. Here are the most important takeaways on what you can do in your organization:

  • Improving the mental wellbeing within a business is a shared responsibility.
  • Company leadership can combat stigmas associated with mental health by setting the example and talking about it.
  • Employers can design mental health initiatives with existing resources. It doesn’t take a huge investment to create a big impact.
  • Individuals can build their mental health self-awareness through training and education, helping them recognize their own signs of struggle, while equipping them with positive coping tools.
  • Remember that you are not alone. If you’re struggling with your mental health, find someone you can talk to about it. It’s the first step towards getting the support you need.

Want more food for thought? Keep on reading to see what our keynote speakers had to say about the topic!

3 key learnings from our speakers.

Learn from the crème de la crème and gain valuable insights from the keynote speakers of our event.

Learning #1: Wellbeing is a team sport.

Sandrien Boogaard, HR Director at GoodHabitz, believes that the key for employees to dare to open up about their mental health is for organizations to humanize their workplace. Employees are people with a life beyond work: a life they’re living 24 hours of the day with many events that can influence their mental health. Think of parents lacking sleep because of their young children, or someone who recently lost their grandmother and is grieving. They can’t hit a stop button during these life events, and they can’t help but to bring their sadness to the office. Employers need to step in and make sure that their employees dare to speak up about their wellbeing by creating a workplace culture where people dare to open up. This can be done by sending out employee experience surveys such as CultureAmp. Or giving your employees access to wellbeing platforms such as OpenUp where they can schedule a call with a therapist – free of charge. 

And remember, employee wellbeing is a team sport, and not just a game of HR. Everyone can do something!

Learning #2: Be brave enough to ask for help.

In her keynote, Dame Kelly Holmes shares with us her journey of being a high-performing athlete struggling with self-harm and mental health problems, breaking down the stigma that even high-performing people can be struggling. She points out that everyone can make a difference, small or big. It can be as simple as asking a colleague if want a cup of coffee or to go for a walk to talk. Or bigger initiatives such as organizations developing a top-to-bottom approach with processes that show that it’s okay to express vulnerability around the office. She continues by encouraging people to dare to speak up, even though it’s scary. The more employees that dare to open up, the more people that come together, the bigger the impact you’ll have to effectively see a change in your organization.

Kelly ends her keynote with this quote: “Strong enough to stand alone. Smart enough to know when you need help. Brave enough to ask for it”. 

You’re already strong, look at what you’ve already achieved all by yourself. But that doesn’t mean you’re weak for asking for help: tt’s just another strength. Knowing when you need help is the biggest step forward you’ll ever take for yourself. And finally, be brave enough to ask for it. Sometimes, that’s the hardest thing, but you shouldn’t be afraid of what other people say. In today’s more transparent society, you have the opportunity to be you, at work and in life. And you have to take it!

Learning #3: Creating a safe setting to open up.

Another way to tackle mental health at work is to create a community around it! Mar from Vueling Airlines and Charlot from Mammut shared practical examples that make a difference at their companies.

At Vueling the incorporated Peer2Peer programs where carefully selected colleagues have been trained and are prepared to be supportive and help others who might be going through a hard time. This has been of great use since employees in the aviation industry fear opening up about mental health, as many employees are scared of having their licenses revoked. At Mammut, they implemented ‘Mystery Coffee’, similar to the Peer2Peer program, but instead, employees get randomly matched with one another to catch up over a cup of coffee. Encouraging employees to create new connections at work and ultimately dare to open up to each other before going to HR. After all, wellbeing is a team sport.

Another tip from Mammut is to incorporate initiatives on newsjacking (holi)-days around mental health and wellbeing. Every year Mammut celebrates World Mental Health Day on October 10th! On this day, the entire company participates in different activities to boost mental health awareness and employee wellbeing within the organization.

Want more insight into
mental health and wellbeing?

Read our latest research report and learn how a happy and healthy workforce can create a positive ripple effect throughout your entire organisation.

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