Know your manager's role in your mental health and wellbeing, tips to improve it - Hindustan Times

Know your manager's role in your mental health and wellbeing, tips to improve it

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Aug 03, 2023 02:36 PM IST

Leaders play a crucial role in employees' mental health. Read on to know your manager's role in your mental health and wellbeing; tips for them to improve

Stress and anxiety at the workplace can get the best of us all as e-mails, team messages and unending calls to impromptu meetings can frustrate any person but while it is normal to feel some tension every day, when work anxiety affects a person's daily behaviour or impacts their personal/emotional life, it must be addressed compellingly. A new study by The Workforce Institute at UKG surveyed 3,400 people across ten countries to highlight the critical role our jobs, leadership and managers play in our mental health in and outside of work.

Know your manager's role in your mental health and wellbeing, tips to improve it (Photo by Microsoft 365 on Unsplash)
Know your manager's role in your mental health and wellbeing, tips to improve it (Photo by Microsoft 365 on Unsplash)

This report found that leaders and managers play a crucial role in employees' mental health, as 78⁠% of respondents admitted that stress negatively impacts their work performance. Only 38% "rarely" or "never" talked to their managers about it and not sharing their experiences was because many employees believed their manager wouldn't care or were too busy to help them. ⁠

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Kedar Tilwe, Consultant - Mental Health And Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Hospital in Mulund, shared, “People spend most of their professional time interacting with their colleagues and seniors. Most employees spend a minimum of 8-10 hours at work per day going through tasks that must be completed. This makes managers' perception of employees and their efforts an essential part of how employees visualise their daily efficiency and, as a result, impacts their sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. As employees' long-term goals are also usually aligned with how they perform at work, the relationship with their bosses and immediate supervisors is one of the tenants that impacts their sense of well-being and how they view themselves.”

He explained, “This tends to make a employee extremely sensitive to the slightest criticism and any disapproval or discord expressed by our bosses. It also makes it difficult for employees to open up their grievances with their bosses as they want to maintain their relationship promptly. This stress level can also lead to increased anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders and even substance use in some people. To prevent this, all of us must become mindful of the impact our interactions and conversations can have on our office colleagues.”

Dr Kedar Tilwe suggested, “A simple gesture of support or appreciation can significantly impact a person's sense of self-worth. It will also likely make them loyal and proactive in their job. Having a safe space where employees can share their grievances or feedback with their supervisors can go a long way in making a person feel secure in his job role. For this reason, periodic townhall type meetings can aid in this step of ensuring well-being for all employees. Finally, a dedicated workplace mental health program, giving employees access to counsellors and mental health professionals, can go a long way in ensuring each employee well-being and also help to increase the workforce's overall efficiency and productivity.”

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