myBrand Conclusion


Fostering team resilience and normalising the conversation around mental well-being through awareness, communication and cooperation.  


Offering a wide range of services to support employees, among which leadership training, development programs and third-party mental well-being support such as OpenUp.

At OpenUp, we strongly believe that a key component in the workplace is to create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. We are proud to say that we are not the only ones working based on this philosophy. 


Companies such as myBrand Conclusion, are on the same mission to make mental well-being accessible for all their employees. Roel Knoppers, General Manager at myBrand Conclusion, Magdalena Ligtenberg, HR Business Partner at myBrand Conclusion, and Annemieke Brouwer, Business Specialist working conditions & vitality at Conclusion, discussed the fundamental role of resilience within the SAP and OutSystems business and shared with us their experience with OpenUp, as well as the outcomes of this strategic partnership.

How does your company work towards ensuring the well-being of its employees?


Roel: We have the mission of being the best-valued SAP and OutSystems service provider in the market, which means that we have a particularly strong focus on customer satisfaction and customer delight. At our core, we believe that reaching customer delight is only possible if you’re working with happy employees: there will be no happy customer without a happy employee and vice-versa.


To ensure employees’ well-being, as the organisation grew quite heavily last years, we decided to implement the role of ‘team lead’, whose clear focus is employee experience and satisfaction. The goal is to provide each and every employee the attention they deserve for their development in this fast-changing world. Next to that, we have in place what we call ‘myCoaches’ that involves around 15 coaches educated within the organisation to support our employees, particularly with those topics which people find difficult to discuss with their direct manager. On top of that, we have the OpenUp program as an extra service for those who would like to discuss more personal issues with a professional. 



How many countries and how many employees are you offering our service to?


Roel: We are serving customers primarily within the Dutch market and we’re offering the OpenUp service to all our employees, over 400 at this stage from three offices in the Netherlands.


Annemieke: We offer the OpenUp service to all the employees of the Conclusion ecosystem, which is quite unique as our companies have much autonomy to make their own choices. With OpenUp, there was no discussion whatsoever with any company. Everybody was very happy to make use of this platform. 

“Employees really appreciate the instant help that they get, so that’s really valuable to us.”

What makes OpenUp a valuable asset of your well-being strategy?


Magdalena: We actively refer people to OpenUp and we always ask them how they found the process and what they thought about the help that they received. The responses we receive are always very positive. Employees really appreciate the instant help that they get, so that’s really valuable to us.



What is your HR team focusing on this year when it comes to mental well-being?


Magdalena: This year we are focusing specifically on on-the-job training for our team leaders. As they have  close contact with their team members, we believe it is essential to provide the right tools to really deep dive into conversations and foster meaningful communication. To achieve that, we’ve started a training program for our team leaders in which they can understand and practise how to give feedback or explore the best way of working with people that are struggling to define their expectations.


We finalised three sessions last year and will continue the training this year, also we aim to keep training new team leaders in that same expertise. We have several parties involved in either maintaining the well-being of employees or trying to help them when necessary, so we try to be involved as much as we can, especially when someone indicates that they’re not feeling well. 



Why do you think resilience amongst employees is important for your industry?


Roel: I think there are several reasons. As I was already mentioning, the world is fast-changing , especially within the SAP and OutSystems environment. The products that SAP and OutSystems are providing to its customers, but especially the way those products should be implemented, are transforming dramatically, which means that we have to re-educate our people and make sure that they’re future proof while remaining valuable to our customers.



Which events in your business require resilience from your workforce, e.g. day-to-day or change processes?


Roel: Change is something that people are not always happy to go through and, for many, change comes with some kind of stress. This means that, on one hand, we should make sure that we provide employees with the opportunities and the motivation to go through this change. But on the other hand, we also have to be aware of the well-being of people and ensure that it is not compromised.


It is essential to recognise this discomfort and provide them with the proper means to remain resilient. And we shouldn’t forget that new changes also bring a lot of pleasure and fun for people, so it is not only stressful! 



How do you support your teams in times of heavy workloads?


Roel: myCoaches, for example, organises these so-called ‘boost session’, where our coaches come up with topics that are primarily important for our employees, e.g., giving feedback in the proper way, how to deal with time management, etcetera. In addition, with our Consultant of the Future program, we offer not only themes on the theoretical level, such as SAP finance and logistics, but also provide training on methodologies and consultancy skills. This is what we do on a daily basis. Next to all these formal things, we also believe that we should make sure that people are able to meet each other on a personal level. So we therefore invest a lot in social events, both within the organisation and outside. 


Magdalena: Our team leads have a lot of proximity to their people and they speak to them on a monthly basis at least. So, they play a really important role in building that resilience and trying to give feedback where people struggle with either professional or personal issues. 


Annemieke: At Conclusion, we provide well-being programs as well. Overall, we aim for sustainable employability, which includes education, skills and growth, among others. I think it’s a very integral approach: it’s not one thing that we do that makes people more resilient. It’s adding on to having genuine attention for them, making sure that they’re trained well, that they understand what’s expected of them, that they feel comfortable in what they’re doing and that they’re happy about what they’re doing. Overall, I think we do many things that are scattered throughout either HR responsibilities or leadership responsibilities.

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“OpenUp has a real added value from being an expert outsider where people can safely share the things that they are really upset about or maybe that they are struggling with on a daily basis.”

How does OpenUp add up to your culture of sharing?


Magdalena: We can help employees from a business perspective with team leaders and myCoaches, but sometimes this might not be enough. People might need some extra help with their personal concerns and that’s something that can still feel difficult to discuss with anyone within the business. OpenUp has a real added value from being an expert outsider where people can safely share the things that they are really upset about or maybe that they are struggling with on a daily basis. And this is where Open Up makes a difference for us compared to what we already do.


Roel: myCoaches are able to support up to a certain level, beyond which they are willing to redirect the person towards more professional help – this is where OpenUp steps in. And this is great because there will always be circumstances in which we are not able to help within the organisation and then it’s vital to have a platform and a solution that we can offer as an alternative. I also think it’s easier for people to go to OpenUp than to go to their doctor and ask for a psychological consult – the threshold is much lower with OpenUp.



How do you keep high awareness of the possibility to speak to someone external, should anyone need to? 


Roel: We have our HR business partners, who are in close contact with team leaders and consequently also in close contact with more delicate situations which require attention. We also regularly remind the possibility of using OpenUp under specific circumstances.  For example, recently we paid attention to the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria as we have quite some employees who have roots or family living there and we mentioned OpenUp as an extra source of support to make sure that people were aware of the possibilities. 


Magdalena: Word of mouth also plays a big role in this. When someone had a really positive experience and sees someone else struggle, they’re quite quick in saying “Have you already tried to contact OpenUp? Because it really helped me.” And I think that’s the best way of spreading the news because it’s always more powerful than formal communications. 


Annemieke: Within the whole ecosystem, we mention OpenUp at every opportunity we get. We use a lot of your content and we can see it is shared  throughout the ecosystem. People know what OpenUp is, what we offer and what you offer. This in turn plays a big part in making mental health a more accepted and discussed topic and is one of the reasons we started working with you. Two things really stand out for us: firstly the no-threshold accessibility and secondly all the resources that you offer, among which masterclasses, courses and self-check-ins. All this together contributes to making mental well-being a normal subject to talk about. All our companies are doing a lot about this and the good news is that the things we are doing are working. And I think we can be really proud of that. 



What do you think is the impact of leadership level on resilience within an organisation? And how do you work on your own resilience?


Roel: We strongly believe in leading by example and value the people’s opinions within the organisation. I personally try to always make sure that I remain fit for the job. I pay attention to development, ask for feedback from others and, even more importantly, remain open to receiving it. Visibility is also important to me. I am in the office a lot, talking to people, and making sure that I know how everyone is doing. These are those small things that will not take much time but will make a tremendous difference on your workforce. Looking at my own resilience, I make sure to listen to myself and my body and I destress through sports during challenging times.

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“People know what OpenUp is, what we offer and what you offer. This in turn plays a big part in making mental health a more accepted and discussed topic.”

What does mental well-being personally mean to you? And what advice would you give to those who will follow this conversation?


Magdalena:  I personally measure my mental well-being based on how quick I can get back to a normal stress level after something that impacts me in a negative way happens. When I see that it takes me way too long to get back to my “standard” level, I focus on what’s happening around me, both in my work life and my private life. I talk to people around me that can help me with any of the struggles that I have and I seek support. My advice to people would be don’t be afraid to ask for help because there’s nothing more important than taking care of yourself and making sure that you feel well. As humans, we generally become happy from helping people around us, and that requires taking good care of yourself first. 


Annemieke: When it comes to mental well-being, I really think it’s important to stress that we are all struggling sometimes and no one is perfect. We’re all just human beings and we have our highs in our lows. Personally, I am aware that I have to work for my well-being, even when sometimes I don’t feel like it.


My advice would be to talk to each other because often what stands out to me is that when I say to people “I don’t feel really well today” or “I am having a bad day” that’s a really good conversation starter as we can all relate to these feelings. So, share with each other how you feel and don’t be afraid to reach out to more professional help, should you feel the need to. 


Roel: Looking at my mental well-being, I strongly believe in balance. When I feel something is not going right, I make sure I am dedicating my time to something else besides work. It might be anything, for me, it is cycling, sporting, or playing the trumpet. Doesn’t matter as long as it’s not work. And once again, make use of the people around you because those who care are able and willing to help, but sometimes you have to ask. We too often think that we can do it by ourselves, which is not true. Others can always help, so make use of that.