Monday 26 February 2024

Why Managers Should Make Themselves a Priority

In most industries, the role of management can be very demanding owing to the extra responsibilities not only for the company itself, but also the employees within the company. It might mean working additional hours, undertaking courses to improve, or hitting demanding targets. Often we forget that managers face difficult challenges on a daily basis and that they are still humans who may also experience mental health issues.

People in management positions can also feel intense pressure to appear strong, resilient, decisive and trustworthy at all times so that employees respect them. So, what happens when someone in management experiences anxiety, stress or even depression? They might feel that they can’t be seen to be ‘weak’ or buckling under pressure, which in turn could make any mental health issues they have more intensified.

“Put your own oxygen mask on before you help others”

You’ve probably heard this saying many times before if you’ve ever travelled on a plane, but the same philosophy can also be applied in this situation. While managers must take on the responsibility for employees’ wellbeing, it’s vital that they make themselves a priority before helping others. If they themselves are feeling drained and exhausted, then they’re unable to perform their role to the best of their abilities, which includes supporting others.

Ways managers can prioritise their mental wellbeing

  • Increase their skills and knowledge on mental wellbeing in the workplace. Not only will this equip managers to assist their employees. but it will also help them understand what they can do to look after themselves.
  • Recognise their own symptoms. Leaders are so busy trying to ensure everyone else is okay that they forget to notice when they show symptoms of mental health issues themselves. By looking out for signs of stress and reaching out to someone outside of the workplace, they can admit if they’re struggling and put practices into place. Early warning signs can include anxiety, poor sleep, weight change and intensified emotions. 
  • Make time for exercise. Although most managers have a busy schedule, they should always make time for some form of physical exercise. Whether it’s going to the gym for an hour before work, taking a walk outside at lunchtime or even cycling to and from work, exercise can help stave off insomnia and symptoms of stress and depression. A study published by Science Direct concluded that “stress and the social situation at work are strongly linked to disturbed sleep and impaired wakening…and the inability to stop worrying about work during free time may be an important link in the relation between stress and sleep.”
  • Confide in others. It's important for managers to ensure they have someone they can confide in about their worries whether it’s a trusted friend, family member, coach or mental health professional.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Working longer hours often causes people to neglect their diet, so they snack on convenience foods and spend less time preparing healthy meals. But the extra pressure of a busy schedule is even more reason to look after your physical health as well as your mental health. There are plenty of websites that feature healthy recipes that can be rustled up in no time, and foods such as fruit, nuts, raw vegetables and yoghurts are great for snacking on during work hours.

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Why Truth Matters at Work

Many workplaces are complex environments where we spend a significant portion of our lives. Therefore, working with people that we trust is of great importance as it directly impacts both employee wellbeing and the overall culture of the workplace. By understanding why truth matters at work, we can appreciate its positive effects on our mental health.

Trust and transparency 

Truth acts as the cornerstone of trust within work environments. When employees feel they can rely on the information communicated to them, it strengthens their trust in leaders, colleagues and the organisation as a whole. 

A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that “employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance.”

Psychological safety

This term refers to an environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas and being their authentic selves. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology showed that truthful workplace communication encourages psychological safety, leading to higher levels of employee engagement, motivation and satisfaction. Honest interactions instil a sense of psychological safety by removing the fear of repercussions, allowing employees to think freely, and contributing to a positive work atmosphere.

Reducing stress

Work places that champion truthful and honest communication contribute to lower levels of stress among employees. When information is accurate and transparent, employees feel more in control of their work environment, resulting in reduced anxiety and improved overall mental health.

Meaningful relationships 

Honesty plays a key role in building meaningful relationships among colleagues. When we consistently speak truthfully, it gives us a sense of respect and openness and allows us to build trust and understanding with one another. Honesty at work also lets us collaborate more effectively and be more productive.

Ethical leadership

A commitment to truth also inspires the development of ethical leadership within organisations. Ethical leaders prioritise honesty and integrity, exerting a positive influence on their employees and creating a culture of trust. Employees who perceive their management as honest and truthful are more likely to have greater job satisfaction, motivation and emotional wellbeing. Truthful leadership sets the tone for the entire organisation, positively impacting employee experiences and performance.

In today's ever-evolving digital environment, the importance of truth shouldn’t be overstated. From honest and transparent communication to protecting the health and wellbeing of all members of staff, truth at work is vital for both personal and organisational success. By embracing truthfulness as a core value, we can create a culture that empowers employees, enhances job satisfaction and ultimately leads to a more fulfilled workforce.