A brief look into a manager’s role in fostering positve mental wellbeing in the workplace

An EU Labour Force Survey found that nearly 10 million working days are lost due to stress, anxiety and depression, at an estimated cost to businesses of £13 billion per year through loss of productivity and sickness pay [1].

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says that, in the UK on average, an employee becomes ill through work-related stress every 2 minutes [2].  Symptoms of which can become apparent both through physical and mental attributes.

For many, working environment has a huge affect on mental wellbeing.  If an element of negativity exists between an employee and manager, either through an abusive or neglectful relationship, this can have a lasting and deep impact on an employee and the business as a whole.

Increasing research throughout the last few years has made evident that strong and reliant leadership is crucial in sustaining positive mental wellbeing in the workforce.  The practical application of which revolves around:

  • developing a supportive organisational workplace culture that values respect and open dialogue
  • managers seen to be leading by example
  • proactively managing potential issues in a considerate and responsible manner, through regular team consultations where participation is encouraged.
  • as well, offering personal chats in a relaxed environment where a manager can get a sense of the individual and what motivates them both in terms of career development and their day-to-day life
  • managing conflict through seeking any necessary advice, from HR and/or Occupational Health

The more an employee feels valued and supported by their manager, the more confident they will feel in managing their workload, relationships with colleagues, and general work/life day-to-day balance.  They are also more likely to feel comfortable in approaching their manager if an issue does arise, knowing that that they will be treated with consideration and respect.

[1] Labour Force Survey | Eurostat

[2] Every 2 Minutes a Worker is Made Ill Through Stress at Work | TUC