risk management

Leading by example: Why better mental health in the workplace starts with you

Want to get better results from your people? A great place to start is learning how to manage your own health. And not just your physical health – your mental health as well. It’s no secret, many people are under stress and may be struggling with their mental health. Often these struggles carry over into the workplace, so the example you set will filter through the company – right down to its bottom line.

If you’re keen to start leading by example, let’s look at a few simple things you can change today.

Slow down a little

When you start to slow things down, you’ll feel calmer, you’ll find your concentration is better and you’ll be more productive. What’s the point in racing from one meeting to another? The only thing you achieve is exhaustion. Remember, being in business is a marathon, not a sprint.

Proactively manage stress

When we allow ourselves to become stressed, we find it harder to manage our emotions. And guess what? Snappy bosses and managers make for stressed staff. Stressed staff take more sick leave and, sometimes, even make worker’s compensation claims. This leads to stressed bosses and so the circle continues.

Regular exercise

Exercise is still a great way to guard against poor mental health. Get out and about at lunchtime. What would make you feel better – a healthy sandwich and fresh air in the park or takeway at your desk? But don’t stop there. Rather than run every meeting sitting down, try a standing meeting or better still, a walking one.

Relaxation exercises – like controlled breathing – can give overloaded brains a quick break during the day, leaving you feeling less stressed and more focused.

You may be thinking, these tips go against everything you’ve ever thought you should do as a leader. But don’t dismiss them. If you’ve ever suffered a bout of poor mental health, don’t be afraid to let people know. When you’re vulnerable, your people will admire your bravery. They may even feel encouraged to open up and seek help in themselves. And that’s good for your business because bottling things up for fear of what the boss might think, only leads to problems for everyone.

If you’d like to improve your bottom line, start by improving your physical and mental health. 


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The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.