Employee wellbeing- don't forget your managers
There has been considerable focus recently - and rightly so - on employee wellbeing at work. Many employers are taking active steps to ensure that mental health is treated seriously and that employees are given the support they need to discuss and manage mental health issues in the workplace. Research published today however acts as a timely reminder to employers that those in managerial positions also require support, not least because of the additional pressures placed on them by their roles.
The Chartered Management Institute (CMI)’s latest research reveals that UK managers are working longer hours than ever – putting in an extra 44 days a year – and feel stressed throughout the year. Factors leading to this include the on-going uncertainty around Brexit (with 25% saying it had decreased their sense of job security and 23% saying it has affected their morale) and the “always on” culture that affects many professionals. Whilst some employers have put in place dedicated training for managers, and in particular new managers, it is often the case that managers are promoted without the opportunity to learn all of the skills required in balancing managerial responsibilities with the other requirements of their role. As a result their own health and well-being can be affected.
The CMI’s tips for employers wanting to help managers to balance their commitments include:
- Allowing managers to empower their direct reports
- Encouraging managers to switch off when appropriate – avoiding a culture of digital presenteeism and unnecessary emails.
- Providing line manager training
- Prioritising well-being at work – ensure that health issues can be discussed without fear of taboo or stigma.
All of these are good practical pointers, but often overlooked – not least because of the sensitivity involved in advising senior individuals on how they might change their behaviours.