3 Highly Effective Ways to Foster a Culture of Well-Being

Becky Cantieri | Chief People Officer, SurveyMonkey

When you support an employee as a whole person, they bring their true and best selves to work.

This article was originally published on Mind Share Partners' "Mental Health at Work" section on Thrive Global.

I’ve long been skeptical of the idea that you can keep your work life in one neat compartment and your personal life in another.

We’ve all brought home our careers’ demands and stressors from time to time. Likewise, when good things happen at home, it’s likely to brighten your work day.

To borrow from Susan Scott’s Fierce Conversations, work is intensely personal.

Asking your employees to compartmentalize is not only unrealistic, but potentially damaging—particularly when it comes to mental health.

In a recent survey we ran with Thrive and Glamour, over a quarter of respondents said their mental health struggles had affected their ability to perform their role. At the same time, we found 45% of respondents said they didn't feel comfortable talking about a mental health concern with others, and very few would talk to someone in their office if they felt anxious or depressed.

As a People Leader, I think about how we can break through stigmas surrounding mental health to support an employee as a whole person so they bring their true and best selves to work.

Here are three strategies we find work well:

Start talking about mental health.

We believe the best way to know what your employees are thinking or feeling is to ask. Starting thoughtful conversations about the overall wellbeing of your employees can raise opportunities to truly make a positive change in their lives and careers.

(Learn more about Mind Share Partners workshops for businesses)

But even for the best of managers, mental health isn’t an easily approachable topic and the stigma that surrounds it can trip up conversations before they begin.

That’s why we use our quarterly employee engagement survey with SurveyMonkey Engage to measure not only an employee job satisfaction, but their personal engagement as well.

Answers to questions like, “Do you feel there is someone at work who cares about you as a person?” and, “Do you feel like you can ask for help at work?” can be the beginning of deeper conversations with managers or HR re