As the importance of well-being is becoming more and more emphasized in our culture and workplaces, it’s integral that we surround ourselves with the knowledge of how we can incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives. For leaders, this research can determine how effective a business is able to run in the long-term, as well as how they can help their employees maintain a healthy state of mind.
Occupational stress is perhaps one of the most challenging difficulties faced by employees. In November 2019, the Labour Force Survey reported a total of 12.8 million working days were lost from 2018 to 2019, related to stress, depression, and anxiety employees were facing.
From an analysis conducted by Deloitte in January 2020, poor mental health in the workplace costs UK employers up to £45 billion a year. This has been on a 16% rise since 2016, costing an extra £6 billion per year for employers.
With this in mind, there are solutions to these problems that leaders can implement.
It’s shown that for every £1 employers spend on mental health interventions they get £5 back in reduced absence and staff turnover, from their employees. Greater social support results in improved staff loyalty, with lower staff turnover. Leaders can also make positive changes in the work environment with how they interact with
Leaders and managers who are less technical, more open, have a better relationship with their staff, the Oxford Group reports. The supervisor-employee relationships can affect work commitments, as well as overall job satisfaction. This is crucial to the motivation of employees, and the reducing occupational stress. Leaders who practice well-being for themselves cultivate a healthier, happier workplace for their employees as a result.
Mansoor Ali, Theme Lead of Waste Burning at the Royal Academy of Engineering, implements the principles of mindfulness into his work environment, alongside his own personal life. His experience in demanding positions shed light on the detrimental effects that a lack of well-being support has on the workplace; minimal communication and lack of motivation from employees, led to many problems in his previous positions.
“The quality of output, the happiness and well-being is compromised, and collectively […] everybody is very much in insolation”, commented Mansoor on past experiences, during an interview with Reena, Founder of Inner8.
Once these problems were addressed, changes began to be made and integrated to benefit the well-being of everyone at his previous workplace. Staff learning days was one such change that encouraged collaboration between different departments, for the employees to work together and interact.
“Because of all that, the quality of work has improved, my relationships have improved, my cliental has improved, and the money comes in.”
Changes like these are all achievable within any organisation. At Loughborough University’s Staff Wellbeing Framework event, Reena, Founder of Inner8, held a “Wellbeing for Leaders” presentation that highlighted the key issues in corporate business environments.
In summary, the presentation highlighted the following areas for leaders to be aware of:
1) Decision making
2) Walking the talk
3) Stress Management
In regards to staff well-being:
1) Performance – standards and workload
2) Relationships – manager and colleagues
3) Social aspects – inclusion, teams, and culture
Garnering a positive turnout, the interest in well-being for leaders is readily apparent and with the proper training can be integrated into the workplace.