Destigmatising mental health in leadership through wellbeing solutions

When discussing mental health in the workplace, we usually focus on employee wellbeing. However, we tend to forget that managers are also employees and also suffer from work pressures, which can lead to poor mental wellbeing.

This is why it is important to implement an employee wellbeing platform, so managers and C-level managers also have access to the right tools to avoid a decline in their mental health. 

This article discusses the importance of mental health in leadership and how to boost it with professional help. 

Listen to leaders

Corporate mental health is a key aspect that affects every member of staff as well as their performance, motivation, and overall job satisfaction. This is why it is important for companies to prioritise every member’s mental health and make sure the help they receive is personalised, as not everyone has the same needs. Leaders, in general, can feel more pressure when it comes to having optimal health as there can be a stigma around ‘how they should feel’ or ‘how they should perform’.

Here are some issues that can affect mental health in leadership:

#1. Burnout

Managers who constantly take on too many tasks are overloaded with responsibilities, leading to pressure and stress. Not only can this affect the quality of their work, but it also affects their mental health. Burnout can appear as feelings of frustration, helplessness, and being overwhelmed. These issues can be tackled if an EAP (Employee Assistance) is in place with occupational health psychologists who can help managers work on their organisational skills in order to divide their workload and learn how to prevent peaks of stress and burnout as well as manage them. 

#2. Work-life balance

Not being able to switch off from work can negatively affect both personal and professional life. Managers may respond to emails or perform work-related tasks even during non-working hours, making it difficult to fully disconnect and recharge. Therefore, managers must set boundaries in the workplace so they do not neglect their mental health and personal life. 

#3. Pressure to meet objectives

As a manager, taking on your own and a team’s objectives is a big responsibility. Being accountable for a team’s success can create feelings of anxiety and pressure on not just performing but performing well. Managers can learn to address the pressure to meet objectives by developing effective time management skills, setting realistic expectations, and fostering open communication with other managers and team members.

#4. People management

Being a manager is a tough and influential job with many more aspects than just getting the work done. Having the role of a leader means having emotional intelligence so the team feels comfortable talking about any issues that affect them, as well as being able to empathise with them. Moreover, in the sphere of people management, applying transformational leadership principles is increasingly recognised as a powerful approach to inspiring and uplifting team members.

These are just some aspects that can affect mental health in leadership. Therefore, it is important to consider managers’ needs at all times. This can be done through surveys, performance reviews, or regular checkups. On top of that, companies should have an employee well-being platform that gives leaders access to specific tools to boost their mental well-being and, if needed, one-to-one therapy with an occupational health psychologist. 

How to boost mental health in leadership

Acknowledging leaders' fundamental role in driving organisations is essential to fostering a culture that actively nurtures and supports leaders' mental health. Here are some ways organisations can boost manager’s mental wellbeing: 

#1. Provide training

This can help managers who feel their careers have stagnated. Managers must upskill or reskill to constantly learn or improve certain skills. For example, as technology advances, new areas exist to explore, such as new software or AI, which can help leaders with some of their tasks.

#2. Foster open communication

Encouraging a culture of open communication where leaders feel comfortable talking about their mental health problems without fear of being stigmatised or judged. This can be done through groups, anonymous surveys, or by providing professional help. Being listened to can help managers talk openly and tackle poor mental wellbeing. 

#3. Give them recognition

Leaders’ accomplishments should be acknowledged by the whole organisation. This will help boost their (and their team’s) morale and motivation, which can lead to improved performance and productivity. Announcing achievements is good, but rewards such as bonuses or other benefits will motivate everyone and make them feel valued. 

#4. Implement a mental wellbeing solution

Although there are many things the organisation can do to prevent poor mental health from arising, the best way to address these issues is through a mental well-being solution. Firstly, this can work as a preventative tool to tackle these issues from the beginning of the manager's journey.  Secondly, this gives staff a safe and anonymous space to talk to a professional about their mental health. Finally, a comprehensive mental well-being solution contributes to the general destigmatisation of mental health within the organisational culture, helping other colleagues and employees address their mental health. 

Fostering mental wellbeing in companies

To help companies enhance their staff’s mental health, no matter what their role, ifeel’s team of workplace wellbeing psychologists has created a mental well-being solution for businesses that improves talent retention, reduces presenteeism, and combats employee stress. 

With ifeel’s mental wellbeing solution, HR managers can receive personalised, data-driven advice on improving mental health at work. In addition, this solution offers employees a 360° mental well-being service structured at different levels according to their needs.