Mental health in the workplace: success and well-being

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One in five workers is willing to change companies, according to a PwC study titled Global workforce hopes and fears and performed in 44 countries. The main motivation is the search for a ‘fair’ compensation. However, after the expression of this priority, employees search for ‘meaning’, an emotional territory composed of purpose, recognition and a good work environment.

The unfulfilled expectation of a salary commensurate with the abilities and performance that each person believes they deserve indicates in many cases a dissatisfaction that goes beyond financial compensation. In fact, in most of the investigations carried out in the United States and Canada on what has been called “the great resignation” (“the great resignation”), the most cited cause is “feeling burned out”, the well-known burnout in English.

We could say that the generation of this internal fire usually occurs due to an imbalance in the distribution of tasks and responsibilities that overload the employee with unrealistic obligations to ensure their productivity and quality of professional life, as well as due to a lack of recognition and listening. of the higher positions based on the demand and the lack of empathy towards their team.

[La ‘gran renuncia’ llega a España]

The new generations are not willing to work for a low salary or to feel the fire of dissatisfaction or to provide their services in a space that is dressed only in the clothing of economic profitability. millennials and generation Z are looking for jobs that have adequate remuneration, allow them to feel “at home” (flexibility, open offices, a healthy work environment, diverse teams…) and have a positive impact beyond the pockets of shareholders. And although it is not easy to get out of inertia, the workers of previous generations are also learning to live and work instead of working to live.

“The new generations are not willing to work for unworthy wages”

In short, post-pandemic workers want balance. Leaders must create the conditions for such a balance between the objectives of the company and the expectations of the person possible in a collective and diverse environment. If we leave salary policies aside, the main responsibility of the leader focuses on the physical, mental and emotional health of the teams.

Mental health is, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), ““the state of well-being in which each individual is aware of his own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his community“.

Disorders of the mind range from the very common anxiety to depression. The latter is a more frequent disease than we think, because the WHO estimates that it affects 3.8% of the world population. In Spain depression is behind many suicides, which are the first cause of death in young people. However, in business this epidemic has remained silent.

It is frequent to meet dissatisfied and unhappy people in their jobs, either due to salary issues, lack of recognition, purpose or listening, or due to excessive workload, among others. It is not easy to identify the causes that induce a worker’s discomfort because this requires deep conversations and with an appropriate method that rarely occurs. In the company, production and immediacy prevail; and with the rush the perception of feelings is lost.

The leader of a team must not lose sight of the results, which are the most recognizable expression of their achievements. However, success needs a more inclusive version. A change of mentality is necessary that allows us to overcome the “success or well-being” dilemma and embrace the new paradigm of “success and well-being”. In this line, the leader must become aware that if he does not have well-being, he will not be able to provide it to his team and mental health is essential to achieve well-being.

Leaders must be aware of the importance of creating environments of psychological safety in which people can show themselves and maximize their potential. They should talk about the importance of mental health by opening a space for the team to share their reflections, reduce the stigma that still hangs over these disorders, foster compassion in the workplace and promote self-reflection and self-care. .

“Leaders must be aware of the importance of creating environments of psychological safety”

It is about deploying empathy to the maximum, really putting people first. This requires being kind and compassionate, showing genuine concern for others, and putting yourself in the other’s shoes.

Trusting and caring for the people on the team is not only essential for their emotional well-being, but also for the organization’s productivity. If leaders trust and take care of what is important to the people on their team, they will take care of what is important to the leader. In fact, being considerate and caring about people is the best way to deal with change or crises.

Leaders have to work culture throughl purpose and help team members connect their personal purpose with that of the organization so that they find value in what they do. They have to focus on the strengths of each person, discover their singularities and find the formula to put them at the service of the team.

as the author says Adam Grant, “a toxic job exhausts you. A decent job sustains you. A healthy job invigorates you.” Leaders can do a lot to make people on teams feel that their daily contributions make sense to them and that they unfold their full potential with the confidence that the future will be better. The current leader creates well-being in the present to ensure the results of the future.

Sandra Velasco, director of immunology at Novartis.


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