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How management plays a role in employee health

Leadership Tips

Managers carry a great deal of responsibility on their shoulders. When a new employee is hired, they need to make sure the person has all the information, tools, and resources they need to hit the ground running. They need to keep employees motivated in order to maintain a high level of engagement. They need to set performance goals, measure progress, assign and delegate duties as well as nurture employee development. Does this mean that the mental and emotional wellbeing of your staff also rests on your well-burdened managerial shoulders? Not entirely. However, you do need to create an environment in which well-being can be nurtured. That means reducing avoidable stress factors, and providing employees with every opportunity and resource possible to get help with stress if they need it.These days, companies understand the value of human capital but many still fail to grasp the importance of employee well-being. You may not be working your employees to death 1800's style, but if you don't have an Employee Assistance Program in place, have yet to implement stress reduction initiatives at work, or are oblivious to signs of burnout, you are risking the well-being of your staff and your company. This in turn will impact your productivity and your bottom line.

What almost every employee wants is a job that:

  • Is enjoyable
  • Is relevant, in that the work they do has a positive impact on the world
  • Is in sync with their values
  • Has the right mix of routine and variety
  • Has a manageable level of stress

Although managers do not have the power to control all of the factors listed above, they do have the ability to create a job environment that is friendly, supportive, and provides the tools needed to accomplish goals, whether that includes learning opportunities, leadership development, or employee assistance programs.

The bottom line is that as a manager, you are a crucial factor in the advancement of staff's well-being. If you make it clear to them that their mental and emotional health matters to you, the positive impact it will have will be widespread. Consequently, if your organization is battling with low productivity, low morale, and major turnover issues, the problem starts with you. Employees' perception of management ("we are a team" vs. "it's us vs. them") has a substantial and quantifiable outcome on your business.

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