Managers make or break employee wellbeing. A manager’s ability to generate a culture of wellbeing is a key factor in a team’s ability to thrive at work and sustain high performance. When a team member experiences poor mental health their relationship with their manager has a big impact on how they respond. So what can a manager do to build a team that thrives?
Build a culture that is healthy and inclusive
- Provide a supportive environment, where every team member is valued and respected. That means getting to know your team members and encouraging their success.
- Encourage a healthy work life balance. Keep an eye out for team members working excessive hours or not taking holiday. Role model healthy behaviour, e.g. take a lunch break, leave work at a decent time, don’t send emails out of hours / when on holiday, etc.
- Provide people with opportunities to grow and develop. Ask your people how they would like to grow at work, and connect them with opportunities to do so.
- Make it known that you (and the organisation) care about wellbeing and are supportive of mental health. Be open about your intentions for your team to thrive at work.
Have regular 1-1 conversations
- Ask open questions and concentrate on listening to the answers. You’ll know you are on the right track if you are listening more than you are talking.
- Check your team members know what is expected of them and ask what they need to be successful.
Look out for the signs of poor mental health
- It can be difficult for managers to recognise the signs of poor mental health. When you know your people fairly well it becomes easier to notice behaviour changes. Some of the things to look out for are:
- poor concentration
- withdrawal from social activities
- changed attendance patterns e.g. working long hours, taking a lot of time off sick
- increased errors or difficulty meeting deadlines
- tiredness or low energy
- worrying unduly
- mood swings or erratic behaviour
- lack of care over appearance or personal hygiene
- When a manager is concerned a member of their team is suffering from poor mental health it can be difficult to know how to broach the subject. Don’t make assumptions or try and diagnose the problem. The most important thing is to simply start a conversation. A question like – ‘You don’t seem your usual self lately, is everything ok?’ can be a good start point.
- Familiarise yourself with the support offered by your organisation for mental health issues. Are there guidelines available for what to do when a team member may be suffering from poor mental health?
We can help
Managers need the knowledge and skills to lead teams that thrive at work. Providing training for managers increases their effectiveness and supports your organisations’ wellbeing strategy. Our Manage Thriving Teams workshop is aligned with the Thriving at Work core standards. It equips managers with the skills needed to generate a culture of wellbeing, and the ability to recognise signs of poor mental health when they arise. You can find out more here.
Our Manage Thriving Teams workshop is also available, on an open enrolment basis, in Oxfordshire:
We’d love to talk more. Please get in touch via the contact details on our website.