How to be a Guardian of Your Mental Health Galaxy

Bakjac Consulting - Mental Toughness Guardian of the Galaxy

Bakjac Consulting - Mental Toughness Guardian of the Galaxy

Ok I admit it. I am a bit of a sci fi geek. Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and lately Guardians of The Galaxy all feature as regulars on my movie watch list when there is nothing good on TV (which is often the case).

It occurred to me that the Guardians of the Galaxy seem to work incredibly well together despite all their diversity (even when the team has a racoon) and manage to work together with a common purpose. Even those with limited communication skills (I am Groot) can still share a great deal in the vision of any team.

When it comes to developing a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for your team, the same principles apply. Despite diversity, difference of opinion, different tools and strategies of each individual, different communication capabilities -  a team can come together to develop a killer mental health and wellbeing strategy that can help their organisation be the best in the galaxy.

Investing in wellbeing provides tangible outcomes for both staff and an organisation. When staff are taking care of their wellbeing and are engaged the results include:

·        Fewer safety incidents

·        Reduced turnover of staff

·        Lower absenteeism

·        Less quality defects

·        Increased productivity and profitability

·        Increased customer ratings

Many health and wellbeing programmes tend to focus on only one aspect of wellbeing - usually physical health rather than considering the whole person or the whole organisation. The goal seems to be on keeping people healthy. Focusing on physical wellness is one thing but it is simply not as comprehensive, nor as effective as addressing wellbeing and mental health as well.

When wellbeing is addressed from a holistic perspective, the goal is to thrive from a physical, emotional, psychological, social and business perspective.

When considering a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for your organisation consider a comprehensive approach.

It is also not sufficient to focus on only the negative impact that work and the work environment can have on employees and organisations. Understanding the potential negative impacts of work is important and can contribute to preventing physical and mental illness and losses in productivity. However an approach that focuses purely on the dysfunctional elements of work in order to prevent illness does not adequately capture the elements of the workforce that engage employees. Nor does it explain why some organisations develop environments where employees can thrive and reach their maximum potential. Just consider if the Guardians Of The Galaxy only focused on their dysfunctional characteristics – geesh they’d never get anything done.

Rather than focus on risks a positive wellbeing strategy in any galaxy needs to focus on opportunities, strengths and resources.

Consider some great strategies to get you started.

  • Move your focus to encompass all aspects of wellbeing within your galaxy.
  • Promote positive choices and activities that your guardians find intrinsically motivating to do every day.
  • Encourage your leaders to cultivate a positive emotional climate and lead by example. Consider feedback, reward and recognition, together with vision and good direction, conflict management and supporting employee growth. Promote an environment of trust and fairness by considering the provision of meaningful and engaging work, providing support through change and promoting a sense of social belonging.
  • Develop a work environment that promotes positive health and wellbeing and considers respectful interactions, showing genuine care for others, altruistic behaviour and noticing and appreciating positive work experiences.
  • Promote positive communication.
  • Design jobs for the promotion of wellbeing through job crafting.
  • Support and develop employees and ensure a strengths based approach to build work place engagement. Have conversations about what individuals feel they are good at and what gives them energy in the workplace. Discuss how staff can use their strengths within their roles.
  • Set challenging but achievable goals to build belief in personal ability and capability.
  • Build a coaching culture into your work place where you encourage ‘above the line’ behaviour and attitudes focused on accountability, responsibility, options, possibilities and solutions.

If you aim to make wellbeing a part of your galaxies culture, you have the ultimate potential to make your organisation the Guardian of the Wellbeing Galaxy.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop strategies to enhance their wellbeing to move from surviving to thriving. You can find her at or