A thought leadership piece on employee mental health & the best practices to influence and improve wellbeing

The Gift Club – Newsletter Article

What does wellbeing really mean and how can you increase it?”

The answer to this question is not straightforward. There is no regulated or prescribed approach, no true understanding of what wellbeing means and how to ensure the wellbeing of a workforce however it is possible. After suffering mental illness including 3 months off work unable to function at the hands of my employer, I made it my mission to research, define the solution and help as many people as I can to prevent them from going through what I did. I would like to take you through my findings and


The approach and the progress simply varies across how forward thinking the organisation is. Some simply tick the box by offering an Employee Assist Programme such as AXA or BUPA etc. Others scratch the surface by occasionally bringing in motivational speakers, offering subsidised services such as massages/yoga gym or often gift cards to solve themselves. But very few have a clear wellbeing programme which is fully integrated into the corporate infrastructure which teaches and measures wellbeing.

Let’s consider the definition of wellbeing. The term is so loose that it is easily open to interpretation. Occasionally, corporates attribute this to positive mental health, most simply view it as good physical health with perhaps mindset training. However in reality the definition of wellbeing means a balanced approach to mental & physical health to ensure positive wellbeing.

One of the biggest ongoing issues remains how to tackling mental health and is often something which renders many leaders and managers scratching their heads. It’s easy to talk about physical health and other feel good wellbeing offerings such as massage, exercise however these won’t teach the company nor their employees what positive mental health is and how to prevent issues to promote and drive wellbeing.

Many start to tackle mental health by sending representatives on a mental health first aid course. Whilst these courses are fantastic for gaining an understanding of mental health problems and how to spot them, they do not teach how to prevent mental health issues or how to promote positive mental health.

What are the best practices to influence and improve wellbeing?

The answer lies within the company infrastructure and the quality of training in place for all employees. Programme content and methodologies which promote an increase the positive mental health and wellbeing of a workforce are as follows:

  • Holistic training programmes covering multiple disciplines from across a certified panel of experts:
    • What mental health really is and what influences it
    • What stress is and how to recognise it
    • self understanding & awareness to map your own mental health, potential triggers and propensity to stress
    • Mindset, values & beliefs
    • Resilience & stress management
    • Mindfulness
    • Physical health influencing positive mental health
    • Financial health

The clever part is providing this training in a way which enables each employee to leave the programme with a clear understanding of their own mental health and most importantly a clear and bespoke toolkit to support them in ongoing wellbeing development.

Combine this integration into company infrastructure, such as comms plan (with top level executive leadership endorsement), performance measurement process and line manager & employee training plans, ongoing support tools and measurement and you’ve got a winning formula.

What are the benefits to businesses?

The statistics tell a clear story:

  • 3 in 4 people feel stressed at work*
  • 3 in 5 people lose sleep because of work*
  • 1 in 2 people are looking for another job*
  • Cost to UK economy is £45 billion per year**
  • 5 million working days lost in the UK every year due to mental health issues**
  • Average ROI for every £1 invested is estimated to be £5


*Investors in People Survey 2020

**Deloitte survey 2020

Aside from actual cost which is not directly measured by many corporates, the benefits include increased tenure, reduced recruitment & HR costs and increased productivity driving business performance. The key question is can businesses afford to ignore the value of implementing a robust wellbeing programme to tackle mental health head on?

Kathy Heath

Co-founder & Director

Gen. Healthy Minds Limited

Gen. Healthy Minds offers a holistic wellbeing programme for line managers and employees supporting corporates with embed within their business. From 16th September to 16th October we are offering 3 corporates a free 90 session of their choice from our holistic Mindset Transformation programme or our bespoke Masterclasses. Please contact us at:



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