How Mental Health Boosts Company Performance

11 de October de 2023
5 min

How Mental Health Boosts Company Performance

Addressing people’s well-being in companies is a strategic investment in employee performance and motivation. We share the vision of Tamara Cutrín, an expert in human resources and Cognitive Neuroscience.

In a constantly changing work environment, the importance of team well-being has emerged as an unavoidable priority for organizations seeking success.

Is it possible to create an authentic culture of well-being in the company? What are the most common challenges in promoting mental health at work?

Tamara Cutrín, an expert in human resources and Cognitive Neuroscience, co-author of “Enabling Genius” and Head of People and Culture at the technology company TEIMAS, answers these questions.

We have more and more evidence showing that emotional well-being in the company is intrinsically linked to organizational success. Tamara, how is this vision incorporated?

Tamara Cutrín (T.C.): First of all, to integrate this perspective, it’s necessary to work on a culture of well-being, starting from the highest layer of the company. Ultimately, the People and Culture figure dances in tune with the organization’s general leadership, not the other way around.

I believe it all starts and perpetuates if managers prioritize taking care of people in their roadmap. Undoubtedly, it’s the leaders who need to be comfortable with such culture to be able to convey and execute it. Once this is aligned, the Department of People and Culture acts as an orbiting figure to implement appropriate measures, measure their impact, design and select tools, data, etc.

So, how is a corporate culture with results implemented?

T.C.: Creating a culture of well-being is a joint effort: it’s hours of analysis, observation, and data collection. It also involves creating custom instruments to obtain that data. It’s a continuous improvement task where the concept of well-being needs to be adapted to the people who make up the work teams. Ideally, companies should have a well-being program. That is, an open and versatile document, in continuous construction, that encompasses all measures related to well-being.

And because what is not communicated, does not exist. Therefore, part of the success of a well-being culture is communication and transparency. Companies are responsible for constantly transmitting the pillars of our culture. Only then is it possible to thrive, create, recreate, and involve people in the culture.

Mental Health Challenges at Work

What are the challenges that most affect people’s mental health in the workplace?

T.C.: There are many. But each organization must be responsible for selecting the priorities, those that it must analyze and measure regularly. For example, challenges directly related to people’s well-being: work and personal stress, happiness, quality of life, emotional management, job satisfaction, general well-being at work, family reconciliation, equality, etc. And, on the other hand, challenges directly related to the company, such as culture, the quality of commitment, and the work climate.

Then, being these issues mostly subjective, how is appropriate monitoring done?

T.C.: Well, one of the most beautiful parts of human resources work is precisely being able to design custom tools to measure and analyze these challenges that impact people’s mental health. It’s about finding the formula to quantify people’s emotional states.

Currently, many studies show that happy or balanced employees are more productive. For example, according to a study by the University of Berkeley, balanced and happy people are more productive, more creative, more collaborative, better at pursuing long-term goals; it’s also known that happy teams are 20% more productive. And, additionally, the cost of replacing an employee ranges from half to twice their annual salary.

The data are very significant, but speaking from a more human perspective, one of the axes of every company should be to protect and take care of the people who work daily to achieve the company’s goals.

This care must be comprehensive, i.e., it must provide a set of techniques, protocols, programs, and plans that cover care in all areas of importance for the balance of people, with special focus on their mental health.

And how is this focus on well-being translated into the reality of the company?

T.C.: For example, at TEIMAS, we have a well-being program currently formed by measures that pursue 7 main objectives: taking care of the emotional and mental health of employees; reducing work absenteeism; increasing employee motivation and commitment; balancing work and family life; improving productivity in the company, fostering a good work environment, improving the ability to attract and minimize turnover, retaining people.

All this is translated into the day-to-day life of the company through various initiatives such as telework days, work flexibility, reduced summer hours, the training plan. Also work climate surveys, various team building actions and a customized mental health plan with free psychology sessions.

What does this mental health plan consist of?

T.C.: It’s one of the most innovative initiatives within our well-being plan. To implement it, we have the help of Mentiness, a startup dedicated to the prevention and care of mental health within companies. This plan is formed by two different actions: personalized psychological well-being follow-up and free psychology sessions.

Through Mentiness software, people at TEIMAS select objectives to work on: leadership, motivation, stress… Data is collected through periodic surveys so that users themselves can see their evolution over time. These metrics, which we obtain in the organization anonymously, are key to being able to do follow-up.

The other part of this plan is the free psychology sessions. Anonymously and through Mentiness, TEIMAS employees can start a therapy process to work on those aspects they need to improve on their mental health. These sessions, 100% funded by TEIMAS, have helped our employees in personal crisis situations.

But the most important thing is that the data confirms that we are achieving objectives that positively impact people’s lives and that reflect on the company’s productivity.