Image of male looking pensive with colourful graphics

The influence a workplace has on employee mental health

For World Mental Health Day we ask a selection of questions that explore a workplace’s impact on their employee’s personal wellbeing.  
Elise Willson, Content Writer

The link between mentally healthy and engaged employees, and organizational growth and success is commonly discussed. We have previously explored how psychological safety will drive employee engagement, and heavily influences employee wellbeing, productivity, satisfaction, and absenteeism.

The fact that 71% of disengaged employees are already on the lookout for a new job, only increases the need to get workplace wellbeing right. 

Here we present several questions to self-audit an individual workplace culture, aimed at opening opportunities for change and improvement. A valued and supported workforce will be empowered towards stronger personal mental fitness and health.  

PQ graphic: 83% of people things they aren't heard 'fairly or equally' at work

Are opinions safe to be voiced? 

How comfortable are employees in sharing their opinions and feedback, particularly when unpopular or negative?

As we recently covered, listening to employees is an area where many organisations fail to meet expectations. In fact,  83% of people think they aren’t heard ‘fairly or equally’ at work, while a whopping 41% have left a job because they didn’t feel listened to. 

These insights are staggering and display the severe underutilization of the power found in valued and heard employees. When employees feel their voice is heard they are 4.6 times more likely to be empowered to deliver their best work. 

PQ graphic: When employees feel their voice is heard they are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to deliver their best work.

Are mistakes safe to make? 

Making a workplace safe for mistakes is a culture that needs to be established from the top down. When leaders comfortably own and openly learn from their own mistakes, they not only demonstrate their own humanity, but actively foster stronger psychological safety.  

Making your organization a safe place for mistakes, and learning from them, is one of the most influential components in developing a psychologically safe workplace.

Mistakes is also the basis of an innovative environment. When your people are empowered to embrace a trial-and-error process, there is increased opportunity for agile thinking and creative disruption. 

Are leaders equipped to support?

When was the last time leaders and direct managers in your organization were educated directly on mental health and wellbeing within the workplace?

While the conversations around workplace mental health are increasing, 50% of managers still find it hard to identify when their team members are struggling with their mental health, overwork or burnout. If education hasn’t started at the top, your employees will continue fighting against the current.

PQ graphic: 67% of leaders are not meeting employee's expectations for how invested leaders should be in their wellbeing

And though many leaders are doing great work here, and even more are taking steps forward, there is still a lot of 'up-skilling' needed at large. A recent Adecco Group study of 15,000 respondents across 25 countries reported that 67% of leaders are not meeting employees' expectations for how invested leaders should be in their wellbeing. 

Addressing mental health in the workplace, and empowering each employee to strengthen their own mental fitness, is a complex and ongoing focus. But one that is increasingly critical and valued by employee’s searching for somewhere that aligns with a healthy life. 


Please remember, if you are struggling with your mental health and experiencing significant distress, we encourage you to reach out for immediate support.  
Australia: Lifeline 131 114 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636   
USA: NAMI HelpLine 800-950-6264  
UK: Samaritans 116 123 or Shout Crisis Text Line text ‘SHOUT’ to85258  
Global: United for Global Mental Health Regional Directory 


The Humans at Work guide

The Humans at Work guide

Workplace mental health and wellbeing can feel overwhelming to approach, particularly if you're not sure where to begin. To help navigate these waters we have developed, in partnership with AP Psychology, the Humans at Work guide. 

This auditing and planning tool will guide you in finding the right learning for your team. 

If you are a current Go1 customer, you can complete the guide in partnership with your CSM and they will add a Humans at Work learning plan into your current learning structure. 

If you are not currently a customer and interested in elevating your workplace's mental health and wellbeing learning, we would love to help. 

Download the Humans at Work guide and let's move towards psychologically safer workplaces. 

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
Latest stories and insights