Why workplace mental wellness matters?

Why workplace mental wellness matters?Can your team keep their focus as long as needed?
07.06.2021

Are you aware that mental wellness and innovation are based both on intrapersonal skills? 

Workplaces cannot expect people to thrive until they have not secured supportive work environments and allowed employees to learn practical intrapersonal skillsInner wellness is a prerequisite to letting talents thrive.

As mental wellness lessons and intrapersonal education are totally missing in our current educational curricula employers cannot expect to see personal initiative and work engagement. Also, as our education is mostly based upon memorizing existing things, instead of accessing our true inner potentials that open up creativity, employers should not expect innovation.

How are mental wellness and innovation connected?

To understand the connection between mental wellbeing and innovation we need to demonstrate what spoils it. So, here are 5 questions that demonstrate how mental wellness and innovation are interdependent:

  1. How can people be engaged at work, when they do not know even how to lead their attention/awareness at will? 
  2. How can employees be productive when they are not able to keep their focus, especially when the ride gets rough?
  3. How easy is it to be open and trustful in a toxic work environment where people fail to lead their own inner processes and constantly blame others?
  4. Can people thrive without psychological safety that allows trial and error?
  5. Can employees manage themselves under a moody and threatening boss that uses fear and economic dependency as the main management tools?

Many workplace managers and executives never ask those questions.
 

When thoughts fly away, people lose their productivity


Every compassionate and respectful leader or entrepreneur, on the other hand, knows by personal experience that in unsupportive conditions work becomes a fight.

In many workplaces people need to fight on 3 fronts:

  1. External front – all the professional challenges, including competition with other companies out there and providing the services/goods for customers (or in case of officials to citizens) in the way that keeps them satisfied;
  2. Internal workplace front – daily challenges with colleagues on different positions and constant competition for inner budget and inhouse attention;
  3. Inner front – intrapersonal challenges on how a person can keep attention, focus, inner motivation + the constant need to manage individual stress level, with the aim to avoid burnout and/or more serious mental health problems.

While most workplaces provide basic tools and ergonomic workplaces and some employee benefits, only a selected few have started addressing intrapersonal wellness that allows changing those fights into a more solution-focused approach.

Workplace safety needs to include mental wellness

Only when people understand different processes within their own inner domain they have the freedom to stay mentally fit and act upon their ideas. When people can lead their inner processes at will, self-respect and respecting other individuals (regardless of their position) will become a natural part of workplace culture. 

Thriving entrepreneurs and leaders create a workplace culture where it is safe to:

  1. Challenge existing ways to act;
  2. Take personal initiative;
  3. Propose ideas and face the challenges that come along with acting upon those innovative ideas;
  4. Make mistakes and try again;
  5. Ask questions and have discussions with anyone regardless of their position;
  6. Talk about mistakes without being judged, so that you and people around you can learn from those experiences;
  7. Be utterly honest.

However, today we pour more resources (including our time) into meetings, office design, and even coffee machines than into mental wellness. Workplaces expect people to mentally well without taking any action on securing mental wellbeing as such. It is like expecting a good cup of coffee without coffee beans. 

 

Psychological safety is founded on mental wellness

Psychological safety and mental wellness go hand in hand like the quality of water and beans make up a good cup of coffee. Yet, most workplaces at best regulate psychological safety, but regulations are recipes that fail to lead to results if we lack the skills to follow them.

In that sense, intrapersonal skills are the most fundamental skills out there (like reading is the key to understanding any recipe). Leading our own inner processes matters, as it is our inner reactivity (reactivity within our mind) that makes us stressed, mentally ill, and even not respectful towards others.

Our automatic inner reactivity is mostly so strong that we even lack respect for ourselves and for our wellbeing. Until we fail to notice our inner reactions stress and burnout are bound to happen. Only when we learn to replace such reactivity with a more aware response can we start preventing burnout and other mental health issues.

The fundamental problem that has been massively overlooked is a simple one: Employers/entrepreneurs cannot expect their staff to be well when they lack intrapersonal skills. 

Currently, no one besides the workplace can teach people basic mental wellness lessons. 

Why? Mental wellness, as a discipline, is currently missing in our schools and universities and is mostly not discussed at homes. At best, we have started to discuss mental health problems, but even that still remains rare and stigmatized. However, wellness has no stigma. Just as we take time to train our physical bodies, we also need to take time to train our minds.

 

Conclusions

A fit mind is interested to have a healthy physical body. A fit mind is interested in being productive and solution-providing. A fit mind is also insightful, capable of using intuition and creativity. 

The collective of fit minds thrives when they are in innovative and supportive work environments. And when a collective of fit-minded people come together, businesses and healthy relationships thrive.

Having a fit mind is what the mental wellness revolution that we lead is all about. 


Are your people stressed or well at work?


This blog post is by Kaur Lass