The future of mental health at work
These simple changes could quickly boost mental health in the workplace. But Dominique believes that, in the long term, wider systemic change is needed. This needs to come from senior leadership, and form the basis of the values and attitudes of business leaders.
“The main aim of a company should not be to win a competition, but to be part of the social fabric and improve people’s lives,” says Dominique.
French metal working company, ARC-Industries, is a recent example of this. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the company designed and manufactured a contact-free hand sanitizer dispenser. During the pandemic, French hospitals requested a lot of these devices, and ARC-Industries saw a surge in demand for its product.
When a journalist asked the CEO, Romain de Tellier, whether he would increase prices in response to the unexpected demand, he said no.
“In my experience, this is a dramatically different way of thinking for a CEO,” says Dominique. “When employees see their CEO behaving that way, it’s positive for mental health.”
Business schools like Grenoble have a role to play in training leaders who can facilitate this kind of environment, he stresses. “If we want to improve mental wellbeing in companies, we have to totally transform the way we are educating people to be leaders.”
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