Mental Health at Work

Therapeutic approach to organisational development

Broadly, there are 3 ways in which mental health at work can be improved.

Awareness of impact of policy issues

The general strategy and policy objectives of an organisation have consequences for the wellbeing of the members. Setting policies such as performance measurement, remuneration policy etc have a direct impact on the way people feel and behave. There are no ideal structures that suit all organisations. Some tasks require flatter structures. Others may benefit from a more hierarchical approach. The key is in awareness of impact of policies and decisions on the system.

Identifying and dealing with toxicity

Toxic behaviours in teams and across the whole organisation is a major cause of stress and anxiety. This tends to result in compromised mental wellbeing- which in turn affects employee’s home life and work performance. Examples of toxicity include, among others, blaming, stonewalling and defensiveness. There are antidotes to these toxins that members need to understand before the team can perform at its full potential.

Understanding the interconnectedness of teams

Members of an organisation are simultaneously also members of other systems like their family, the community and country they live in. We don’t enter organisations as blank slates but with much history and baggage. Individuals and companies impact each other; it’s a two-way thing. Personal growth and development of the members is a critical part of changing the organisational culture. We can bring joy or anxiety to work. We can derive joy or suffer anxiety at work.