Interventions to support mental health in a Czech SME

By QED group

QED GROUP research team chose for the GROUP 1 a global business company EYELEVEL with over 300 employees that designs, produces and arranges brand shops. EYELEVEL has gone through a rebranding into HH Global in 2021. The interventions took place in the whole organisation across all departments. The implementation period started in March 2021 and finished in February 2022. In total, five interventions were chosen to be implemented targeting different levels of the company following the IGLO model (Day & Nielsen, 2017). Mindfulness and HelloBetter Stress Intervention targeted the individual level. Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) and Positive Leadership Coaching targeted the leader level. For the team/group level, Sociomapping intervention was used.

What challenges to the implementation process?

The biggest challenge was the merge with HH Global. Due to this a lot of employees were unhappy and left the company in the process of implementing the interventions. Because of this situation many organisational changes also occurred, which had an impact on teams across the whole company. Thus, many teams disintegrated into new ones, some even dissolved completely. Employees reported feelings of uncertainty because of the merge, huge workload and pressure from clients. We suspect that this is caused by a lack of staff in the company, because a big part of the company left due to merge.

Positive aspects and outcomes

If H-WORK took place at a different time, the implementation of interventions would likely be more successful.  Due to the merge, there is less time and energy for the project from the management and employees. However, the project is still very much supported by the top management. The HR manager reported that the interventions had a positive impact on the mental health of the employees. People started to focus more on themselves and their needs. It was also reported that they put their needs first and the needs of the company second. When asked what do they appreciate about the H-WORK project the most, they reported the feeling that someone cares about them, they have time to stop, during the intervention, more attention is dedicated to them, they also appreciate that they have a space to raise their concerns, and that the company supports dedicated working time to stop and think about mental health. H-WORK is perceived as the only positive activity among employees because there is no budget for any other mental health initiatives at the moment. From all the interventions Positive Leadership Coaching and Mindfulness have the best evaluation from all interventions.

What we perceive as very positive is that people continue to do certain activities even after the intervention, e.g. mindfulness – they organize group meditations at work and they practice even after completing the course.