Five Innovative Tips For Healthy Teams

Five Innovative Tips For Healthy Teams

Increased error rates, irritability, “procrastination” and frequent short-term illnesses are some of the warning signs that managers and HR managers should be aware of. Is it just a brief mental slump on the part of the employee or a more serious mental illness?

There are numerous risks to mental health in a demanding workplace, from time pressure, bullying and a lack of purpose to the fear of losing your job. A silent burnout can build up over years without those affected realising it. In acute cases, things often go on for months. Mental illness is now one of the most common causes of incapacity for work or disability.

This also has consequences for companies. The most visible is the absence of the affected employees. Processes are interrupted and productivity decreases, while the remaining colleagues have to work overtime. Even before a total breakdown, mentally impaired people are usually unable to perform high-quality work or make good decisions.

Managers have a considerable influence on personal interaction within the company and therefore on the mental health of the workforce. The topic of prevention takes centre stage here. With just a few effective measures, they can prevent mental stress and lend a helping hand to their team members – this is part of their duty of care and future competence. It is essential that managers understand the basics of mental health, if necessary through special training, and also recognise when external medical or therapeutic help is necessary. They should also be open to feedback from others, as managers can also struggle with a mental health problem that affects their performance. Absenteeism and poor decision making are often the first signs.

There are many tips circulating on how managers can build and keep their teams “healthy” – and react correctly in an emergency. These are the five most innovative:


Establish strategic, holistic feel good management in terms of personnel. This is not about constant entertainment and event planning (in the worst case with peer pressure), but about creating a motivating, supportive working atmosphere that is as trouble-free as possible. The Feel Good Manager enjoys the trust of the team and listens to the individual, provides feedback and addresses blockages and problems. Ideally, company health counselling is added – sports courses, health days, nutritional offers – in addition to a holistic company medical practice.


Enable paid, formal “mental health days”. A short break to recover from work-related stress factors – or to attend appointments for mental health (e.g. resilience training, business yoga). And: Is a four-day week feasible in the company? Studies show that this currently much-discussed working time model can not only improve health, but also productivity.


There are now many tools and, above all, apps for digital workplace health promotion, some of which are supported by health insurance companies. Important when choosing: The application must be able to analyse your own behavioural patterns, establish more positive thought patterns, and offer building blocks or controllable (beginner) routines for self-care. The manager is also a role model here. The latest apps offer instant messenger-style communication, in which you write down your needs and have an actual (initial) conversation with the chatbot, so to speak. Speaking of AI: there are already technologies on the market that can recognise mental stress quite reliably through voice and speech behaviour, facial expressions and choice of words.


“A staircase only gets clean from top to bottom.” Top management must be fully behind mental health care, as with any other factor relevant to the company. Managers and HR managers play a key role. A “healthy” corporate culture depends on their sensitisation and support. Underestimating this would be negligent. They should also be healthy leaders themselves. Anyone who drags themselves to work physically or mentally unwell and ignores their own preventative measures is not a credible role model. In this case, leadership coaching can help to increase mental strength and identify deficits. Such programmes are not entirely new, but they have taken an extreme leap forward with digital scenarios, flexible online and offline formats and surprising AI skills.


Several sites reflect. According to a recently published British study (“Britain’s Healthiest Workplace“), the current mental health programmes are hardly effective. It concludes that employers who are concerned about the mental health of their employees should focus more on “key organisational practices” such as work schedules, pay and performance appraisals. This single study contrasts with the demonstrable successes in prevention. The merit of mental health programmes and measures in bringing the topic out of the discriminatory taboo zone remains undisputed.



This post was originally shared on Xing

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