Managing Minds at Work: Development of a Digital Line Manager Training Program

Holly Blake, Benjamin Vaughan, Craig Bartle, Jo Yarker, Fehmidah Munir, Steven Marwaha, Guy Daly, Sean Russell, Caroline Meyer, Juliet Hassard, Louise Thomson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    54 Downloads (Pure)


    Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence, creating a high economic burden. Workplace interventions aimed at supporting employers in the prevention of mental ill-health in the workforce are urgently required. Managing Minds at Work is a digital intervention aimed at supporting line managers in promoting better mental health at work through a preventative approach. This intervention was developed as part of the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot, a wider initiative aimed at supporting employers across the Midlands region of the United Kingdom to improve the future of workplace mental health and wellbeing. The aim of the study is to describe the design and development of the Managing Minds at Work digital training program, prior to feasibility testing. We adopted a collaborative participatory design involving co-design (users as partners) and principles of user-centred design (pilot and usability testing). An agile methodology was used to co-create intervention content with a stakeholder virtual community of practice. Development processes were mapped to core elements of the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions. The program covers five broad areas: (i) promoting self-care techniques among line managers; (ii) designing work to prevent work-related stress; (iii) management competencies to prevent and reduce stress; (iv) having conversations with employees about mental health; (v) building a psychologically safe work environment. It was considered by stakeholders to be appropriate for any type of organization, irrespective of their size or resources. Pilot and usability testing ( = 37 surveys) aligned with the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) demonstrated that the program was perceived to be useful, relevant, and easy to use by managers across sectors, organization types, and sizes. We identified positive impacts on manager attitudes and behavioral intentions related to preventing mental ill-health and promoting good mental wellbeing at work. The next step is to explore the feasibility and acceptability of Managing Minds at Work with line managers in diverse employment settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8006
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2022

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    Funding Information: The study is part of the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot, which is funded by Employers, Health and Inclusive Employment (EHIE).


    • mental health
    • Organizations
    • occupational
    • Self Care
    • Humans
    • Mental Health
    • Surveys and Questionnaires
    • training
    • workforce
    • Workplace - psychology
    • stress
    • digital
    • intervention
    • workplace
    • line managers


    Dive into the research topics of 'Managing Minds at Work: Development of a Digital Line Manager Training Program'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this