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The five dimensions to mental health and wellbeing in the workplace

And why offering therapy is not the answer.

Morgana Rubini

In recent years, there has been growing recognition that mental health is a critical component of overall wellbeing. This is especially true for the workplace, where employees are spending a significant portion of their waking hours. Despite this, many organizations have been slow to prioritize mental health, often relying on reactive approaches that provide access to mental health services only after an issue arises.

At Artgym, we believe that this approach is insufficient. Rather than simply providing access to mental health services, organizations must take a more proactive approach to creating a working environment that cultivates good mental health. We call this approach Wellworking.

At its core, Wellworking is about creating a healthy working culture that supports exceptional performance and employee wellbeing. This involves ensuring that employees feel valued, empowered, and supported to do their best work, while also taking care of their mental health.

To achieve this, organizations must embed Wellworking principles into every aspect of their operations, from their Culture, Strategy, and Learning and Development programs to their Systems and Processes, Employee Experience, and working environment. Artgym’s approach focuses on five key dimensions of a healthy working environment: Contribution, Self Expression, Empowerment, Creativity, and Belonging.

The five dimensions to a healthy working environment:

The first dimension, Contribution, ensures that employees feel their work has a positive contribution and that their colleagues appreciate it. This requires creating a culture of recognition and appreciation, where employees are regularly acknowledged and rewarded for their contributions. It also means ensuring that employees understand how their work fits into the larger mission and vision of the organization, so they feel a sense of purpose and meaning in their work.

The second dimension, Self Expression, focuses on establishing a safe and encouraging environment where employees can freely express their thoughts and ideas. This involves promoting open communication, active listening, and offering channels for feedback and perspective sharing. Building a culture of psychological safety allows employees to speak up without fear of retribution, which stimulates innovation and creativity within the organization.

The third dimension, Empowerment, is about giving employees the tools and resources they need to be successful in their work. This means providing training and development opportunities, as well as giving employees autonomy and control over their work. By empowering employees to make their own decisions and take ownership of their work, organizations can foster a culture of accountability and responsibility, where employees are motivated to do their best work.

The fourth dimension, Creativity, is about challenging employees in a constructive way to come up with new ideas and experiment. This means creating a culture of experimentation, where employees are encouraged to take risks and try new things. It also means providing opportunities for employees to collaborate and share ideas, so they can learn from one another and build on each other’s successes.

The fifth and final dimension, Belonging, emphasises creating a sense of community and connection among employees. This means fostering a culture of inclusivity, where everyone feels welcomed, understood, and appreciated. It also means providing opportunities for employees to connect with one another on a personal level, whether through team-building activities, social events, or other initiatives.

While the benefits of a healthy working environment are clear, many organizations still struggle to implement Wellworking principles. This is often due to a lack of understanding or buy-in from senior leaders. However, there is growing evidence that organizations that prioritize employee wellbeing and mental health outperform their peers.

For example, a study by the World Economic Forum found that organizations with a strong commitment to employee wellbeing and mental health are more productive, have lower turnover rates, and are more likely to attract and retain top talent. Similarly, research by Gallup has found that employees who feel supported by their managers and colleagues are more engaged and productive at work.

It is not only the ethical responsibility of organizations to cultivate healthy working cultures that encourage good mental health – it makes great business sense. Organizations can create environments that sustain exceptional performance while also promoting the well-being of their employees by prioritizing the five dimensions: Contribution, Self-Expression, Empowerment, Creativity, and Belonging.

Can your employees say ‘yes’ to each of the five dimensions?

“I know my work makes a positive contribution and that my colleagues appreciate it.”

“I feel safe and encouraged to express my opinions openly and I feel listened to by my colleagues.”

“I feel like I have control over my work and I am supported to make my own decisions.”

“My work challenges me in a constructive way to come up with new ideas and experiment.”

“Most of the time, I feel welcomed, understood and appreciated by most of the people around here.”

How Artgym can help.

If you are a business leader who is passionate about cultivating a healthy working environment that promotes the well-being of your employees, then Artgym can help. Our team of experts specializes in developing and implementing culture strategies, learning and development programs, systems and processes, employee experiences, and environments that support healthy working cultures. Our unique approach to Wellworking ensures that your employees thrive in every aspect of their lives, resulting in a sustainable and high-performing working culture.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help your organization achieve a state of Wellworking.