10 questions for CEOs and CHROs to reflect on corporate culture and mental well-being

21 Apr ‘23
4 min
Work performance
Lisanne van Marrewijk
Gecontroleerd door Psychologist Paul Hessels
These 10 reflection questions will help you deepen the conversation about mental well-being in the leadership team.
There are several ways to create a healthy and secure corporate culture – after all, mental well-being is a personal issue. As you and your employees are the ones who know what works for your organisation, it is important to regularly explore workplace sentiment and reflect on the company culture, as well as the direction you are heading.


These 10 questions will help you as CEO or CHRO to reflect on the current approach and deepen the conversation about mental well-being within the leadership team.


Mental well-being is an ongoing topic


Mental well-being in the workplace – especially since the pandemic – is a growing topic. But despite the increased focus on employee well-being, there is not yet a clear understanding of why certain solutions work or how they affect an organisation’s culture. 


The solutions for mental well-being at work are not a matter of plug-and-play. Rather, they are something you want to pay ongoing and conscious attention to. Reflecting regulalry  on the approach and needs of employees is the best way forward.


Reflecting on culture


Reflecting is an effective exercise that helps you learn from mistakes and experiences and develop further, without being distracted by external triggers. This applies to you as a person, leader, but also as an organisation.


It not only helps you stay on track in terms of goals and ambitions, but also keeps you focused on your core values and whether the current culture, approach and interventions are still in line with where you want to go as an organisation. This allows you to make timely adjustments to optimise where necessary.


Therefore, schedule regular time  for example, every quarter, to reflect with the leadership team on the company culture and how it is perceived by employees. The following questions will help you do this:


  1. What mental well-being issues or challenges have arisen in the organisation?
  2. Do we have the right solutions and guidance in place to support people with these questions and challenges? Are the current solutions adequate?
  3. To what extent do the guidance and solutions we offer focus on preventing mental well-being problems and challenges? How can we improve and make our approach sustainable?
  4. How can we (further) make mental well-being a topic of conversation in the workplace, so that people become familiar with the topic?
  5. What do we do when  someone displays  inappropriate or toxic behaviours?
  6. How do we make sure  that we create an inclusive working environment? In which areas can we improve?
  7. In what ways do we encourage the individual growth of our employees?
  8. What role does the leadership team play in the well-being of our employees? 
  9. How can we lead by example as a leadership team?
  10. What can we do to encourage employees to work on their mental well-being actively and preventatively?


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Involve the organisation as well


As a leadership team, you obviously cannot see everything. This is not a negative thing, but it makes it important to involve the rest of the organisation in reflecting on the culture as well.


Perform anonymous research into how the culture is perceived, involve people from different layers in the organisation as mental well-being ambassadors or ask them about their wishes and needs in this area.


You can use that input during reflection meetings. That way you can be sure that the input for answering the questions is not coloured by your biases or the restricted view you have as management.


Culture is always there


Despite the fact that you may not talk about it on a daily basis, company culture is acted out  on a daily basis. It is always there, consciously and unconsciously, and it changes with the company.


Establishing and maintaining a positive, secure  corporate culture, therefore, takes time and attention. And that is OK, because a safe corporate culture makes employees happy and motivated. On the other hand , an unhealthy culture is a reason to change jobs.


Reflecting on culture, employee well-being, and the role of the leadership team on a frequent basis keeps you doing the best you can for your people.


Read more about culture 👉 How Work Culture and Mental Health Are Connected

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