How to improve mental health in the workplace

Stress at work is not a new phenomenon, but we are hearing more and more about it.  It also increasingly affects young people as more flexibility and the associated high pressure to perform ask a lot of young adults. Research shows that undesirable behaviour in the workplace also causes stress. These issues – work stress and undesirable behavior – compound each other as stress can result in a negative atmosphere, which encourages undesirable behaviour. 


Time to improve mental health in the workplace. Start with these four tips: 

Employee alignment

1. Talk about work stress.

Work stress can have various causes, such as work pressure, unwanted behavior from colleagues or customers, and uncertainty about the job. By regularly talking to your employees, you can break the taboo on work stress, identify complaints early on and prevent problems. Help managers to have these conversations with their employees.


2. Offer interventions that promote employees’ mental health.  

Intervening early is essential when it comes to psychological issues and depression. Prevention is better than cure. So invest in interventions that contribute to better sleep, less stress and less worrying. 


3. Measure the effect of the interventions you offer. 

A literature review by the Trimbos Institute shows that interventions in the work environment that aim to increase the mental resilience and mental health of employees can be effective. This was found to be particularly true for cognitive behavioral training, mindfulness/positive psychology interventions, yoga and relaxation, but not for physical activities. However, the Trimbos Institute indicates that the number of studies is still limited. Various reviews of the effectiveness of interventions note that there is a great variety in content, purpose, target group, method of delivery, intensity and duration. To ensure that there is a correct match between employee and intervention, it is important to measure the effectiveness of interventions. 


4. Respond to employees’ ambitions and discover where their talents lie. 

Employees who use their talents in their work are happier and add great value to your organisation. They also experience less work stress. Therefore, as an organisation, invest in the professional and personal development of your employees.

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