How to help your managers feel comfortable with wellbeing conversations

A quick summary:

Have you ever attempted to encourage mental health or wellness discussions at your workplace?

Then you probably know that getting managers involved and comfortable with leading these conversations is not easy. There are always other priorities. Other, “more productive” things to do. And “no one really wants to have those discussions”...right?

But, what is the real reason for managers avoiding wellbeing conversations?

We’ve surveyed our community and discovered that the main reason for this, is that managers don’t feel like they have the tools to act on conversations with their employees.  Especially at times like these, managers are aware that the workforce is undergoing unparalleled levels of stress and anxiety. However, they prefer to avoid discussing “the problem”, because they feel they are not able to truly support their people.

After all, would you want to listen to your employees say that they struggle with sleep, work-life balance, and/or anxiety...if you’re not able to support them in some way?

So how can you empower managers?

Managers must be empowered with a toolkit of wellness experiences and resources, which they can use to help their teams. For instance, if someone is struggling with sleep, perhaps they can provide access to sleeping apps or meditation. If someone is struggling with anxiety and stress, perhaps they can recommend life coaching, a visit to the spa, or on-demand HIIT sessions.

Managers want to feel they are truly supporting their people and having a real impact on their lives.  Hence, it's important for wellness experiences and resources to be inclusive and easily accessible for all company members. This will increase the likelihood that employees take action and that wellness conversations have a positive effect on the organization.

Key points and next steps

Each human is unique. And no single wellness experience will be suitable to help every person. Managers need a toolkit that empowers them to respond to different situations and to support each member of their team as an individual.

If you want to encourage wellness conversations and awareness at your company, you must ensure that your managers feel empowered to help. What range of wellness experiences and resources would have the biggest impact on your team?

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