It will come as no surprise that 2020 is being cited as one of the most stressful years ever!
In fact, the respondees in a recent Oracle study were unanimous that mental health needs to be an employee priority with 76% of people believing that their company should be doing more to protect the mental health of their workforce.
However, a survey of employers by the consultancy Buck in 2019 suggests that:
only 25% of UK businesses have a wellbeing programme in place, despite the vast majority recognising the positive impact it could have on both employees and the organisation. This is well below the international average of 42%.Buck 2019
It’s interesting that there are still considerable barriers to investing in workplace wellbeing, when you consider the significant costs directly associated with poor mental health. For the sake of your organisations ROI, taking some time to equip your leaders with these vital skills is an investment worth making.
The best ROI is received where money is invested in high impact areas specifically leadership developmentDeloitte“The ROI in workplace mental health programs: Good for people, good for business”
Great leaders embed wellbeing into the DNA of the organisation making it the responsibility of all, part of the core values of the company. Great leaders make wellbeing an integral part of the organisations culture.
But how can you, as a leader, successfully impact wellbeing?
1. Believe that wellbeing is part of your leadership purpose
Believe that wellbeing is part of your leadership purpose and live the core values of care and compassion. Successfully articulate your vision for wellbeing and clearly state what great wellbeing actually is for you and your team. Accept that it’s your responsibility to ensure wellbeing is achieved on behalf of the organisation.
2. Invest in getting educated in “wellbeing”
Recognise that it’s a complex subject and that it’s highly personal, subjective and inconsistent. Understand that it’s multi dimensional – not just mental health but also physical, financial and social health. Carefully define the key actions required to protect and improve wellbeing. Be acutely aware of the contributors to great wellbeing– the environment, relationships, health, where we live, education and skills, finance, what we do with our time and more.
3. Practice what you preach and look after yourself
Be a role model in looking after your own wellbeing and be willing to express vulnerability and honesty with how you’re feeling with others. As an advocate of health and wellbeing be proud to defend your decisions and actions. Believe that without putting on your own oxygen mask first you cannot help and assist others.
4. Develop high levels of Emotional Intelligence
Specifically focus on high awareness of self and others. Tune into the needs of others, practice empathy and develop the strongest, mutually beneficial interpersonal relationships. Recognise your impact on others and the individual needs of people so that you are incredibly flexible and adaptable.
5. Build Rapport and Trust
Leaders that successfully impact wellbeing are very adept at building rapport and trust. They know that one of the biggest barriers to wellbeing is the lack of psychological safety to admit wellbeing needs. They invest time in building great relationships and making it safe for others to show vulnerability without fear of retribution.
6. Respond well to difficult conversations
Equip yourself to respond to difficult conversations. Don’t feel uncomfortable talking about mental health and wellbeing. Learn to feel equipped to be able to help and sign post individuals.
7. Be visible
Ensure that you are visible, accessible and giving of your time to check in with how folk are feeling both formally and informally. Put wellbeing at the heart of all your actions.
8. Build community and connection
Become attuned to who is connected to who and who in your team is vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. Understand that in the workplace, peer communication and collaboration are some of the most important imperatives for ensuring a healthy, productive organisation.
9. Develop a coaching leadership style
Develop a style of listening and deep curiosity. One where you are non-assumptive and explore respectfully the thoughts and insights of your teams.
10. Protect the boundaries between work and home
Do this assertively. Encourage the development of good habits and behaviours. Become uncompromising in insisting on the need to recharge and to take time for self away from work. This has become a particular need as home working is fast becoming the norm.
11. Encourage personal ownership for wellbeing
Great leaders implement individual Wellbeing Action Plans that are reviewed regularly, and action is taken where wellbeing metrics are being negatively impacted.
12. Celebrate the good stuff
Leaders who believe in wellbeing take time to celebrate the good stuff, to recognise achievements. They are half full rather than half empty. They are proponents of positive psychology and are very comfortable in expressing thanks and gratitude.
Successful wellbeing leadership is undoubtedly a skill. A skill with regard to both the subject matter and a skill to be able to lead effectively to achieve great wellbeing outcomes.
Leadership group coaching programmes are an incredibly impactful approach to safely explore beliefs, assumptions and values towards wellbeing. A coaching learning intervention allows for deep listening and sharing of best practice strategies and a platform to discuss a complex and very often difficult subject matter.
Get in touch with our experienced team today, to discuss how a group coaching programme can help your organisation.