It's important that mental health strategies for the C-suite are embedded within a company's culture: healthy organisations need healthy leaders.
In this article, learn about the following:
- Strategies to support digital wellness in the workplace.
- What’s affecting the mental health of leaders?
- How can the C-suite look after their own mental health?
As the world becomes increasingly digital, the lines between work and personal life blur. With the constant pressure to be available and responsive, it's no surprise that the mental health of employees has become a major concern for companies. C-suite executives in particular are under immense pressure to perform while managing their teams’, and their own, mental well-being.
To address this issue, many companies are implementing mental health strategies for their C-suite executives, including a variety of tools and techniques to support digital wellness in the workplace and help employees manage the impact of excessive use of technology on their mental health.
In this article, we consider the impact of technology on mental health and how companies are addressing this issue. We will also explore different mental health strategies that are being implemented in the workplace for the C-suite and their effectiveness.
Strategies to support digital wellness in the workplace
- Promote mental health awareness: Promote mental health awareness by organising training and workshops, access to mental health resources and creating a supportive work environment for both your teams and the C-suite.
- Capitalise on mental health benefits: Businesses should not leave C-suite members lonely at the top, they have to encourage them to make use of well-being initiatives. Some leaders may feel uncomfortable with the idea of taking up time and resources such as counselling services, EAP’s and flexible work arrangements to support themselves, even though they have an equal right to the benefits available to the workforce.
- Encourage further communication: For members of the C-suite, it’s understandable that some concerns shouldn’t be discussed openly with other colleagues in the business. It could be detrimental to work relationships or the business itself by sharing personal information. For that reason, businesses should seek external advisors, counsellors and mentors who C-suite executives can confide in with any well-being problems they face.
- Observe C-suite board feedback: It is important not to lose sight of fellow C-suite comments and feedback. While your peers are used to listening to the needs of others, human resource teams should still include the C-suite in wellness questionnaires, to find out if and how you are struggling, and how to best support you.
What’s affecting the mental health of leaders?
Leadership positions come with numerous responsibilities, such as long working hours, high stress levels and anxiety, which can take a toll on an individual's mental health. Combine this with the responsibility of managing their own teams’ mental health, as well as the overall health of the business, and the responsibilities pile up—with their own health put to the side. Do any of the below strike a chord?
In particular, these hidden concerns can be found in several form, such as:
- Pressure to perform: Leaders are under constant pressure to perform, meet targets, financial responsibility and drive success, which can lead to burnout, anxiety and depression.
- Isolation: Leaders often work in isolation, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and a lack of support.
- Decision-making: Leaders are faced with complex decisions every day, which can lead to stress and uncertainty.
- Work-life balance: Leaders often have demanding schedules, which can lead to an imbalance between work and personal life, causing stress and exhaustion.
- Conflicts and difficult conversations: Leaders are often faced with difficult conversations and conflicts, which can take an emotional toll.
How can the C-suite look after their own mental health?
C-suite leaders need to take an active approach to dealing with mental health concerns therefore. Here’s a few tips to help you prioritise your mental health:
- Acknowledge the concerns: Leaders need to acknowledge that mental health is just as important as physical health. Only by acknowledging the concerns can they work towards addressing them.
- Reach out for help: Leaders need to reach out for help, whether it's to a mental health professional, a friend or a support group.
- Practice self-care: Leaders need to make time for self-care, such as exercise, meditation, and hobbies, which can help reduce stress and improve mental health.
- Create a support system: Leaders can create a support system by connecting with colleagues, mentoring others and seeking feedback.
- Address workplace issues: Leaders need to address workplace issues, such as long hours, unrealistic expectations and lack of support, which can impact mental health.
Unhealthy leaders do not build healthy organisations. In today's world, businesses play a crucial role in supporting the mental health of their leaders and employees by promoting mental health awareness, offering mental health benefits and encouraging open communication. Studies from different countries around the world indicate that mental illness is a significant reason why employees quit their jobs. Many employees expect to receive psychological and moral support from their managers or leaders at work. It seems clear that there is an essential role for C-suite executives in promoting and supporting this. The unintended consequence? This tends to increase pressure on leaders. It sheds light on the importance of leaders realising their own mental health issues.
C-suite leaders are at a higher risk for mental health issues. And many executives feel pressured to hide their struggles with mental health for fear of being seen as weak or damaging their reputation. It is the time for leaders to acknowledge the importance of mental health and take steps to address it, as it is often ignored or overlooked, but it is crucial for their well-being and success.
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