Marta Ager spent many years as a Minister of Religion at the Salvation Army, leading congregations, and overseeing a multitude of activities and charity events the organisation carries out. Her years of leadership have made her aware of the importance managing stress has in the workplace, resulting in a change of habits to better benefit a healthy outlook.
Currently, Marta is involved in pastoral care (looking after retired officers) at the Salvation Army, and her aspirations involve eventually developing a weekly radio show.
After an interview with Reena, a lot was revealed about the changes Marta made to improve her workplace, as well as her own lifestyle.
Mindful eating, listening to her body, and long walks every other day in the countryside are some of the routines Marta does for her wellbeing. Even watching the programmes she enjoys is a benefit to her health. She also makes an effort to say ‘no’, staying in control of her time management. Overall, simplification and mindfulness is now something that Marta enjoys incorporating into her lifestyle.
Although Marta understands that there are many aspects of her daily routine that she would like to change, she knows not to put stress on herself, taking a slow approach so that it becomes a natural practice for her.
Marta feels there are many opportunities for improved wellbeing for leaders. In particular, when there are signs of employee stress, it is important that the organisation takes these concerns seriously. In her own personal experience, the overflow of office work meant less pastoral practices and less opportunity for the organisation to make changes based on recommendations.
Marta now makes an endeavor to focus more on the intention behind what her colleagues are saying, to quickly resolve any issues in the workplace. As improvements are made, Marta doesn’t want complacency to settle in, and she now feels the organisation is supporting her own wellbeing needs. The workplace has moved on, from being reactive, to being more proactive; which provides many opportunities to support wellbeing.
Marta believes that the wellbeing of leaders is paramount to a healthy workforce. It’s important that leaders look after themselves and empower others to take on responsibility. It’s also important to understand an employee’s mindset, particular skill set, and their own aspirations.
Marta feels if this was more prioritized in the workplace, everyone involved would better understand one another, subsequently leading to a more successful organisation.