Walking the tightrope as a Manager: Looking after your team members as well as yourself

Walking the tightrope as a Manager: Looking after your team members as well as yourself

24 May 2022

Work Wise Wellness

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This informal CPD article Walking the tightrope as a Manager: Looking after your team members as well as yourself was provided by Leigh McKay at Work Wise Wellness, an organisation that promotes sustainable wellbeing initiatives within organisations and communities.

Isn’t it amazing how in times of crises we are able to collectively adapt and support each other? As we leave the pandemic and business returns to a “new kind of normal”, reflecting on the past couple of years, managers may acknowledge that team members have opened up to them more than ever. Sharing concerns, the likes of wellbeing and mental health challenge can lead to meaningful conversations and collaboration.

It is worth considering keeping these conversations going as the aftermath of the pandemic will potentially be felt for several years yet. According to the CIPD Health and Wellbeing Report mental ill health remains the most common cause of long-terms absence, followed by musculoskeletal injuries and stress. Additionally, long Covid was identified by 26% of respondents as one of their main causes of long-term absence. For managers this means maintaining trust and confidence, also protecting the time to manage these relationships. Remember, as managers we aren’t expected to be counsellors or resolve mental health issues but listening and supporting is something of huge benefit.

A further consideration for managers, is hitting the pause button to do an audit of their own wellbeing status. Covid years have put management priorities under greater pressure than ever. Keeping vision clear to the team in an ever-changing playing field is something many have battled. Maintaining a sense of purpose and empowerment in a hybrid scenario, an interesting dynamic to achieve. Keeping team members engaged and motivated to continue going in tense times. It could be fair to say that recent years have been spent keeping everyone else buoyant and finding ways to keep yourself going, when feeling depleted, is difficult!

We have all heard of the oxygen mask analogy and never could it ring truer than now. “When travelling with dependents, put your own oxygen mask on first, before supporting others” As a manager how are you prioritising your own wellbeing?

The most recent mental health awareness week, 9th – 15th May 2022, supported a theme of “loneliness”. Onlookers may question how managers can feel lonely as they are surrounded by people continuously. Managers are all too familiar with just how lonely it can be at the top – even impacting wellbeing negatively.

Tackle feelings of isolation head on:

  • Find a support group: This could be achieved through meeting with past peers or indeed joining an official leadership group whereby you share challenges and ideas regularly.
  • Use a mentor: Finding someone trustworthy that you can speak to and home in on your strengths and weaknesses, fine tune your development plan and hold you accountable may work for you.
  • Acknowledge that you are not alone in your loneliness. Today, a Google search for “loneliness in leadership” returns 832,000 results.

Finally, make your self-care activities non-negotiable. Do what you love doing outside of work – make sure this time is protected in your calendar. Disengage from work if you can and enjoy these replenishing activities fully present.

Work Wise Wellness

Leigh strives to encourage a culture which prioritises healthy choices. She advocates that a workplace and community that promotes wellbeing has a positive impact on everyone's mental, physical and emotional health. “In a society where we find ourselves under enormous pressure, we all aim to be adaptable, meet expectations and thrive. Person centred resilience skills is something we can all benefit from. This is also the foundation of creating positive mental health.”

We hope this articles was helpful. For more information from Work Wise Wellness, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Work Wise Wellness

Work Wise Wellness

For more information from Work Wise Wellness, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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