Exploring the Mental Wellbeing of Kuldiga District Council Employees: A Case Study of implications for workplace health promotion assessed with tools of service design

Paula Grasmane-Laše
Krista Korpikoski
University of Lapland

The aim of this research is to examine the mental well-being of employees in Kuldiga District Council and provide recommendations to improve their work environment by using the traditional research tools as well as tools of service design. To achieve this goal, the study reviews established approaches and analyses the current situation in Kuldiga District Council. A combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques are utilized, including interviews, questionnaires, and a service design workshop. The questionnaire provides quantitative data on existing workplace issues, while the interviews provide a deeper understanding of the current situation. Expert interview bridge the theoretical and empirical parts of the study by providing information on the elements that contribute to mental well-being in the workplace. The service design workshop enables employees to share their personal beliefs and ideas on how to improve mental well-being in the workplace. Research questions are as follows: 1. What are the most important aspects impacting mental well-being in a workplace? 2. How supportive are the existing workplace circumstances of the mental well-being of Kuldiga District Council employees? 3. What could be done to improve mental well-being of Kuldiga District Council employees? The research main conclusions indicate that: - Using service design methods can improve employee mental well-being through a comprehensive and human-centred approach. It enables the development of tailored interventions based on employees' needs and preferences, which can be refined in reallife settings for lasting solutions. - Investing in employee mental well-being can yield substantial cost savings for companies, increase retention rate as well employee engagement and productivity. This master’s thesis consists of five main sections: theoretical, analytical, practical, as well as conclusions, total 132 pages, 4 appendices and 23 charts. Appendices consist of interview transcripts with employees visualised in empathy maps as well as the survey raw data report, separate open question answers provided by research participants and service design workshop plan, making them an integral part of the analytical section of this thesis. This research is conducted in an ethical manner, with clear information provided to all participants, confidentiality of responses ensured, and participation voluntary. Limitations of the study may include potential biases in participant selection and social desirability in responses. The findings of this study are expected to contribute to enhancing job satisfaction, productivity, and employee retention rates in Kuldiga District Council.

Key words: well-being, mental well-being, well-being at work, Kuldiga District Council, service design