A Leader's Role In Employee's Mental Health
“It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices; not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.”
Mental health, without a doubt, has become a major concern among the masses. It affects a person’s life in many ways; he/she might suffer from some mental predicament at any stage of life. A family member or colleague going through a rough patch affects the people surrounding them.
In the workplace as well, a leader plays a pivotal role in impacting an employee’s mental health. Being a leader, it’s very important to understand each of your team mate’s psychology and attitude towards each other. If you are just a manager, you might be concerned about the work status and deadline.
But, if you are a leader in a true sense, you will care about each of your employee’s mental state, productivity, motivation level and satisfaction. Only an optimal balance can lead to an efficient workplace. In the corporate world, a lot of officers are encouraging the team leaders and managers to be guided by certified leadership coach for the employees’ mental health and company’s betterment.
How do you deal with mental health?
The way of dealing with physical problems is way apart from that of mental health. Tackling mental-related problems is more demanding when it comes to the workplace. Recently, almost everyone has faced some sort of emotional issue in their lives. Currently, with the Covid pandemic that the whole world is facing, several people are facing mental health issues owing to isolation.
The mind goes through haphazard feelings of fear, anxiety, and depression. People have witnessed losses of valuable associations of their lives- closed ones, their perfect job, almost perfect health, saved money. A lot have suffered from a sense of low confidence with uncertainty which has disturbed them to the core.
According to a 2020 CDC survey, more than 40% of Americans were struggling with mental health. The more concerning factor here is that more than 60% of them are not getting proper and timely treatment. One of the reasons for this is that many people deliberately do not want to share any such experiences and want to handle them on their own.
However, sometimes it necessitates calling for help from outside. When you spend most of your time in offices, it is your responsibility as well to get involved and help your co-employees. With proper training by a certified leadership coach, the leaders of a team can make the best use of their abilities and position to break through the typical taboo related to mental issues and recommend solutions.
The significant role of a Leader and Management in employee’s mental health
Micromanaging leads to an adverse impact on mental health. Being a manager, if you are not taking care of your employee’s state of mind, then it can worsen their emotional well-being. Out of office care is also important if you are a leader. Spend time with your employees, learn if they are happy with the work, and ask about their health and families. Share happy moments with your teammates to make them feel involved. You can go the extra mile to plan important events in their lives - birthdays, baby showers, housewarming, anniversaries, etc.
With proper and caring management and leadership, you can promote good mental health in the working environment. It is not only the responsibility of a leader to look after and develop the constructive and performance ability of their employees. You need to also find ways to increase the efficiency of the employees at work. For many employees, the way they are treated by their leaders brings a lot of differences in their behavioral and mental health.
Manager vs Leader
From one angle, an authoritarian and demotivating manager who behaves offensively and is pessimistic in tackling challenges in the team can build an environment of stress, anxiety, and depression among the employees. In the opposite scenario, a compassionate and helpful manager who is ready to support his employees will help them tackle any mental issues.
Their caring behavior positively affects the minds of the employees. It becomes imperative to mention here that they act as makers of positive and negative impacts established in the working environment affecting the employees’ mental well-being.
Any early sign of mental issues in any employee must be dealt with at the earliest. According to some recent research, it has become very clear that there is a direct link between the behaviour of the leader to that of an employee’s mental health. This has originated the necessity of hiring a certified leadership coach in organizations for proper training of the team leaders.
Ways in which a leader can help their employee’s mental well being
a. Represent Healthy Behaviours
Today, words are not enough. It is important to portray what you say and believe. When you model and show that you care about mental health and prioritize it, the employees will feel inclined to follow their leader’s example. This can change the employee’s outlook and attitude towards the importance of mental well-being. Being a leader, follow practices that your employees will appreciate. For example, a leader can involve his team in practicing yoga, take a walk in the mid-day when tired of continuously working, practising chair mediation between work, involving in games and more.
b. Communicate Effectively
Although this pandemic has made mental stress a lot more common, especially among adults, people still do not want to share about it. It is the position of a leader that can create a significant impact on the employees if the leader chooses to share his experiences related to what he has endured. Being a leader, set an example by showing how you have dealt with your life challenges. This will inspire the members to go easy about it. Genuine leadership can successfully inculcate trust thereby improving the relationship between an employee and leader.
c. Build Regular Connection
When a leader makes sure to check with his employees, but not micromanage, the latter tend to feel more positive about sharing their thoughts. A boss can start with a simple hi ! or how are you? And ask about any discomfort or problem they are facing in their personal or professional life. The employees can share their thoughts and opinions with comfort. This step surely helps in lessening and sharing their stress.
d. Accept Changes
A generous team leader will understand the demands of an organization and the team members. He must understand and take care not to lower the standard, but accept changes that are affordable and necessary. A leader needs to be adaptive enough to ensure employees feel mentally fine and involved at the workplace. When a member sees that the leader has brought some flexibility to ease his/her problem it will bring loyalty and efficiency to the work.
e. Converse More About Resources
The leaders should try to connect more with the team members. Open communication and transparency is the key to promote good emotional bonding between the leader and the employee. Going out for lunch or having a chilled-out conversation will create a healthy bonding between them. Offer help to your employees if they mention any stressful situation in life. Take the initiative to talk to your management to introduce spiritual sessions like mindfulness and meditation, yoga, etc. if you see an iota of emotional imbalance among your team.
This will help your teammates access these resources if they need help. As a leader, you too need to invest in proactive workshops to understand how to deal with the emotional well-being of your employees. You need to hone your skills and acquire the abilities to ensure a holistic well-being for your employees, be it professional or personal.
As mental health is so important; it is a necessity to address it in the workplace. The above-mentioned points can bring a wide difference in the employee’s mental well-being. A sense of belonging will increase in them, sometimes even saving a life.
Being a leader is truly important and not everyone has the capacity to become one. Becoming a boss is far easier, but a leader calls for a holistic set of qualities. Being a true leader, you can successfully bring in a radical change in your teammates’ lives. To be an accomplished leader and remain etched in the minds of employees, you can choose a leadership training session with Coach Dr Paras. Life leadership coaching through guided and customised sessions with our ICF certified coach can make you a leader in a complete sense.
Dr. Paras is a globally acclaimed name and has already transformed the lives of many through his inherent abilities and experiences of coaching, supervising, mentoring and training sessions. Write to [email protected] to get some amazing courses at a slashed rate now.