Why Good Leaders Care about Mental Health: The Top 8 Must-have Qualities

- Leadership

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by Tyler Read

With everything employees engage in every day, leaders have to pay keen attention to people’s mental health. Employee results and productivity rely greatly on employee happiness and a mentally unfit employee can’t be as productive. Leaders and business owners in a wide variety of industries need to consider the mental health of their employees. This is because it will affect the general outlook of the business.

But before leaders can care about an employee’s mental health effectively, there are certain leadership qualities he or she must possess. Therefore, let’s delve into some of these qualities.

How Can Leaders Be Attentive to Employee Needs?

#1: Offer professional help: As much as a leader is a boss, it is not out of place for a leader to offer help to employees. Tasks can be overwhelming for an employee to handle. As a leader, if you are skilled enough to handle some of the tasks, you should try on your own. Alternatively, you can designate tasks to other employees who do not have much on their plates. If an employee mentions a problem, you should find solutions to the problem. When you help employees, it reduces their stress level and provides them with ample time to focus on other essential things.

#2: Ask questions: Asking questions is imperative to make people feel seen and acknowledged. It also helps people air their views. Find out how your employees feel about things by asking. When you ask questions, it breaks down walls and fosters stronger relationships.

#3: Be a motivator: At some point, it is normal for employees to feel tired and demotivated. It’s part of being human. It’s even worse if they are mentally stressed. Lack of productivity will set in, and people can become demotivated. As a leader, you should motivate and engage employees. Let them know that it is okay to feel unsure sometimes, but that they have your support. If you can, give them a break for a short while. You can make them engage in activities that will cheer them up. If employees have your support as a leader, it’ll propel them to churn out the best.

Also read: Mindful leadership

#4: Communicate well: Communication is the bedrock of working well. If the sender-message-channel-receiver-channel breaks down, it can be a clog in the wheel of progress. You need to know how employees feel. There are times when their personal lives will affect their productivity at work. Listening to how they feel and what’s bothering them can make them feel less mentally stressed and is a sign of emotional intelligence. When you’re not communicating with employees, they might be uncertain about what is expected of them, and it can dampen their morale or create tension and heighten stress.

#5: Team up: The best way to ensure productivity is to team up. It will take four people less time to complete tasks than it will take one person. Also, four skilled professionals sharing their knowledge and being innovative will guarantee the success of the project. Even better, it won’t be too cumbersome and stressful for each member to handle.

#6: Set feasible goals for employees: As much as leaders want to get the best out of their employees, they mustn’t stretch them too far. Leaders should consider the role and workload before setting goals for people. If it appears that an employee is unlikely to complete a task, a leader should reduce the work. Understandably, leaders always want to push their employees to achieve more. However, it is necessary to note that humans have limits and pushing an employee beyond what he or she can achieve can yield negative results.

#7: Delegate: Delegation of tasks is necessary for every organization. One employee cannot get all the work done in an organization. Also, there are times when another employee needs to fill the gaps. A problem that usually occurs with task delegation is wrong delegation. Employees have different roles and abilities. What one employee can handle might be too tricky for another. It is why it is vital to delegate tasks to someone who can handle the specific task(s) efficiently. If an employee handles a task he/she isn’t comfortable with and flops, it can leave a dent on his/her mental health and such an employee can feel down and inadequate.

#8: Criticize Constructively: This is something every leader has to master. No one is perfect, and employees are bound to make mistakes. The onus is on a leader to point out these mistakes and correct them and encourage employees not to be afraid to fail. However, a leader should criticize encouragingly.

Photo Credit: Dustin Belt

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