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Home  >  Medical Research Archives  >  Issue 149  > Political Considerations in Implementing Initiatives to Improve the Mental Well-Being of Employees in the Workplace
Published in the Medical Research Archives
May 2023 Issue

Political Considerations in Implementing Initiatives to Improve the Mental Well-Being of Employees in the Workplace

Published on May 26, 2023




Relatively recently governments have begun to show some of the leadership required to incorporate well-being within their calculations about work-related behaviour. This is important not only for fulfilling our individual potential, but also in signalling recognition of the central role of well-being – both physical and psychological – within equations about productivity and performance. This article considers notable national examples of good practice from Denmark, UK and Canada, as well as highlighting a range of organisational factors that help explain slow progress within workplaces, even when government-level support for improving mental well-being of employees already exists.

Such organisational factors include political considerations and so this paper shines a spotlight on organisational politics surrounding mental well-being at work. In this way, I describe the potential for practitioners in occupational psychology, health and well-being roles and in human resources to develop further and utilise positive political skills to facilitate positive change. Furthermore, examples of political skills in action at all levels of an organisation are considered, ranging from harnessing the active commitment of senior management teams, to campaigning for appropriate training for middle managers, as well as raising awareness of mental health across all employees in the workplace.

There is great potential for positive economic as well as individual health outcomes where organisations give far greater priority to psychological health than previously. The emergence of research-based guidance to improve psychological health at work, as well as recent commitment by some governments around the world to well-being priorities, has signposted new directions for mental well-being in the workplace. What remains concerning is that uptake of such guidance varies and its implementation often lags behind awareness.

This paper considers a range of readily applicable and cost-effective organisational strategies which can be championed by practitioners for improving the mental well-being of the workforce, while it also makes explicit the role of political behaviour in seeking improvements to psychosocial aspects of the workplace.

Author info

Ashley Weinberg

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