Mental well-being: a key challenge for employers

We don’t need to tell you as a caring employer how important good mental health is for your employees to do their jobs well. Employees who do not feel good are also at greater risk of dropping out. Being able to talk about mental well-being in the workplace is therefore a major challenge for many employers. How do you approach this as an organisation and what are the benefits? Vanbreda Risk & Benefits and BloomUp join forces to help your organisation in this area.


Did you know that a stressed employee costs your company 4,000 euros per year on average? On the other hand, an employee who feels good is profitable for your organisation. An individual who feels at ease has greater adaptability, resilience and is better able to handle difficult situations, which has a beneficial impact on productivity. Do you as an organisation want to commit fully to mental well-being? Everything starts with being open about it.

Why talking works

Investing in prevention is more important than ever. One element that contributes to this is making it possible to talk about mental health problems. Evelyne Lauwers, General Manager Health Care at Vanbreda: “Unfortunately, this is still too often a taboo in the workplace. Together with BloomUp, we want to change this. We want to lower the threshold for everyone. Sharing testimonials with each other in the workplace makes it normal to talk about mental well-being.”

There are three key benefits:

  • Talking creates self-insight

For many people, talking about mental well-being, especially when things are not going well, does not come easy. Especially not in a professional context. Clovis Six, CEO of BloomUp: “Talking, however, creates self-knowledge and makes people stronger, allowing them to reach their highest potential more quickly. Moreover, similar stories from others create recognition, making you feel emotionally relieved and better able to understand your thoughts. Don’t you know how to deal with certain negative feelings such as stress? Listen to others to find out how they address that challenge.”

  • Higher productivity

Diminished mental well-being not only brings high costs, it also negatively impacts productivity within organisations. People who do not feel well mentally find it harder to communicate and tend to be more impatient. This often leads to misunderstandings and extreme reactions. It also causes that person to have less energy, focus and drive.

According to a study by the Mental Health Foundation, a person with good mental health is 12% more productive than someone with negative mental health and can therefore do 12% more work at the same cost. That amounts to a saving of 6,600 euros per employee per year. A nice plus, besides the fact that the employee feels healthier and happier.

  • More connection between employees

Evelyne Lauwers: “Once you know why colleagues react emotionally or are irritable, you can understand each other better and work together more easily. In this way, you automatically create more connection and engagement. More engagement, in turn, makes employees feel better in the workplace, stay on board longer, and so there is less staff turnover in your organisation.”

Do you want to put extra effort into engagement within your organisation? See these practical tips of HR managers from different industries.

Taking action at the right time

As an employer, it is important to understand that seeking mental support is a difficult step to take for someone who is not feeling good. That becomes easier when a person feels safe to share his or her concerns and knows that they are being listened to. In an environment where it is common practice to talk about mental well-being, employees are more likely to indicate when they feel good but also when they feel bad. That way, as an HR manager or team leader, you have a better idea of the mental state of your employees and can intervene or refer more quickly if you notice that it is necessary.

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