Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces in India: Insights from the GBC Leadership Roundtable
In an era where employee well-being is gaining increasing recognition as a critical factor in workplace success, the Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health (GBC) is spearheading efforts to create mentally healthy work environments around the world. As part of these efforts, GBC is running a series of Leadership Roundtables across the globe to bring together C-suite leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities around workplace mental health in their region.
A Meeting of Visionary Minds in India
The second Leadership Roundtable in this series was held in Mumbai, India and brought together Executives from 20 organisations of various sizes and sectors, and at different stages on their workplace mental health journeys to candidly exchange insights and experiences. Chaired by Nitin Paranjpe, Chairman of Hindustan Unilever Limited, Dr. Diana Han, Chief Health and Wellbeing Officer at Unilever, and Poppy Jaman OBE, Chair of the GBC and Global CEO of MindForward Alliance, the discussion surfaced several key themes crucial to fostering a mentally healthy workplaces in India, which have been captured a short paper to support businesses and leaders across India to progress on this important journey.
Business leaders are encouraged to read and share the paper, and can send any query about the roundtable, GBC’s work to drive positive change in the region, or ways to join the Collaboration to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Themes Shaping the Dialogue
The roundtable discussions highlighted various themes integral to understanding and addressing workplace mental health challenges:
Workplace Inclusion and Mental Health: The importance of inclusivity and belonging in fostering employee well-being was stressed. Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives were seen as critical for both business performance and individual mental health.
Redefining Working Habits: The culture of long working hours in India emerged as a challenge to mental well-being. A collective industry approach was deemed necessary to shift the prevailing mindset and redefine healthy work-life balance.
Supporting Families and Relationships: Given India’s multigenerational households, the impact of family dynamics on mental health was discussed. Initiatives that involve family members in mental well-being programs were explored.
Tackling Stigma and Promoting Awareness: The cultural stigma surrounding mental health was acknowledged as a significant barrier. Organizations are employing innovative strategies to promote awareness and encourage open conversations about mental health.
COVID-19’s Impact on Mental Health: The pandemic’s toll on mental health was a recurring topic. Organizations shared their experiences in adapting and enhancing mental well-being support systems during the crisis.
Vulnerability in Leadership: Senior leaders’ vulnerability and accessibility were highlighted as essential for reducing stigma and fostering an open dialogue around mental health.
The Leadership Pledge: A Call to Action
During the roundtable, participants were invited to sign the GBC’s Leadership Pledge—a commitment to prioritizing workplace mental health within their organizations. The pledge encompasses actions like developing mental health action plans, promoting open cultures, addressing unhealthy work habits, and fostering inclusivity.
Creating a Mentally Healthy Workforce
As India continues its trajectory of rapid growth and development, nurturing a mentally resilient workforce is pivotal. The insights shared during the Leadership Roundtable underscore the importance of open conversations, targeted initiatives, and collaboration in making workplace mental health a reality. By addressing challenges and seizing opportunities, India’s businesses can lead the charge in fostering a culture of human flourishing and business success.
To join our community of visionary leaders, and sign the Leadership Pledge, click here