Being a good boss is something that is really important to me and something that I put a lot of time and effort into. Being a manager isn’t about the status, the salary or the power; it’s 100% about the people in your team and making sure they can be awesome in their work (with a balanced home life too).
So it really annoys me when I hear stories of bad bosses, so bad that people have to take some time out or find a new job. We regularly hear about mental health now as awareness, reporting and attitudes improve, yet stress is the number one cause of workplace absence?
The role of a manager to someone’s wellbeing and mental health at work cannot be underestimated. In the last year, three of my amazing, talented and award winning friends have taken time out because of stressful work environments, two have moved on and one is still searching. In all three cases, the cause can be traced back to the manager failing to ensure their wellbeing in the workplace.
I’m unsure if there are any consequences for most managers who’s staff are absent or leave due to stress? Shouldn’t it be taken as seriously as bullying, harassment or even assault? Suffering with stress can be life changing: low self esteem, lack confidence, panic attacks, social anxiety and in serious cases suicide (the biggest cause of death in young males).
And it’s not just about wellbeing, a good boss is crucial for good performance. A friend recently told me about a two different teams in his office, one made up of three of the best staff in the organisation, the other made up of very junior and inexperienced staff. The performance came down to the boss that could get the most of out of their team (it was the latter in case that wasn’t obvious).
So to all those managers and aspiring managers out there, please respect the role you hold and the difference you can make to your team’s success and wellbeing. To CEOs and HR directors, please put a spotlight on workplace wellbeing and the role of the manager in achieving this and take a zero tolerance approach to anyone contributing to stress related absence; my three friends would have been very grateful to have had that support.