How Managers Impact Employee’s Well-Being
I once read a tweet from Vidhika Bansal and leaders need to take notice.
“I once read that your manager has a greater impact on your health than your doctor and I think about that a lot.”
Well, now I am thinking about that a lot.
Wellbeing at Work, written by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter, studied reasons why employees are surviving or thriving within the workplace. Many employees leave their jobs indicates their relationship with their one-up leader.
Other factors include burnout, company culture, relationships with employees, and the workload being overwhelming or not challenging enough.
While as leaders are some scenarios within the workplace we can not change, I do believe we have major ownership of the health and well-being of those we lead.
The term resiliency has been a focal point during the pandemic. In such a way companies work to measure the way staff can rally and recover from the onslaught of initiatives that seem never to end.
While that is a very important characteristic for everyone to embody, I would want us to consider if we are perpetuating the reason to be resilient in the first place.
For example, I can ask my team to juggle multiple existing projects at once while asking them to uphold their regular duties and volunteer them to take on new priorities with a deadline that is impossible to meet. Then *IF* they complete these tasks in some Herculeic fashion, I celebrate their ability to power through, which encourages that behavior to be recognized.
In that scenario, if I did nothing but give them work and hype up their ability to get it done without finding ways to slow the funnel, help be a gatekeeper, or even check in on their mental health, I would miss the warning signs of a staff member who could be on the verge burnout.
Which impacts their health.
Which then leads to them leaving.
I would be a terrible boss.
The balance between getting the work done and ensuring people are good in the process is delicate. However, for me, if the team is not feeling good at work, then the work will not get done. At the very least, the work would be of less quality. I have to be mindful that these individuals are spending 40ish hours of their week with me, a large responsibility on my shoulders to ensure they have what they need to thrive.
How can we assist with the health of our direct reports? Here are a few tactics I have developed along the way:
- Connect with them frequently through formal 1:1s or informal check-ins
- Provide the level of structure they need for success
- Help filter the work prior to it reaching the team
- Remove barriers and problem solve with them by addressing the root cause
- Encourage time off and mental breaks
- Schedule non-work-related activities
- Assess your processes and systems that are impacting their mental well-being at work
I would love to hear from you! What are the ways you increase your employee’s well-being at work?