The results were grouped into 4 categories of leadership mentality and behaviour, from highest to the lowest perception of incidence:
A: People focus, communication, gut-feel and overall fairness
B: Wellbeing leadership and strategy
C: General leadership behaviour
D: Wellbeing resources, procedures and support
Category A: Focus on people
Delegates scored their organisational leadership higher in the statements that focused on people: having equal opportunities, being treated fairly, receiving due recognition and feeling trusted. In particular the statements which support diversity in recruiting and promotion rated highly as they were values they recognised within the leadership in their organisations.
Category B: Wellbeing leadership and strategy
The next highest ratings can be categorised into areas where leadership demonstrates an understanding of the company’s values and beliefs and is seen to translate them into action. This also includes a perception that the importance of employee engagement and their wellbeing, and how this affects productivity is a regular board level topic.
Category C: General leadership behaviour
The third category, in descending order, focused on general leadership attributes. In this category it would appear there is still room for improvement when it comes to encouraging and supporting employees in their career aspirations, their achievements and in offering sufficient levels of autonomy in their work.
Vanella Jackson - CEO of advertising agency Hall & Partners - described how her company had ditched formal appraisal systems and switched to a strengths-based approach of what she called 'continuous conversations'. This seems to be a developing trend of managing people, and requires leaders to have a high EQ and SQ to be effective.
Category D: Wellbeing resources, procedures and support
The final category, where it would appear leadership action ranked lowest, involves the approach and effectiveness of dealing with mental health, stress and other areas where a high EQ and SQ would help with employee communication. Leaders with a Quotient Balance will find this category of activities easier to manage and improve.
Mental health was a key theme of the conference. We were particularly struck by the bravery of David Brewin, formerly Global COO at EY, in sharing his own story of battling with depression.
Leaders who can open up and share their own vulnerability in this way demonstrate empathy with others around them and this could encourage them to seek support if necessary. This ‘walking the talk’ can help to tackle some of the misconceptions around mental health.
Edward Thurman of Lloyds Banking Group also covered mental health in the workplace and gave a fascinating case study which included a description of the training for their Mental Health Ambassadors.
Delegates felt that their organisations had much further to go in this area, with less than half thinking their leaders could identify people suffering from stress or that their organisations have procedures in place to support mental health.
Although this was a ‘snap-shot’ of opinion at a Wellbeing at Work focused event, it still demonstratesthat there is room for improvement in the way we deal with factors that affect employees’ mental and physical health and overall wellbeing at work in a detrimental way.
Should you wish to discuss the findings further please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our thanks go to all the respondents who helped us pinpoint where we appear to be progressing well and which areas still have room for improvement.