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Mental health column: Communicate with clarity

© Supplied by Lindsay & LangFiona Lindsay, co-founder and director of Lindsay & Lang.
Fiona Lindsay, co-founder and director of Lindsay & Lang.

Success is where people love to work, and where we work and what success looks like, is different for all of us. So how, as leaders, do we support our people’s mental health in a hybrid and hyper-connected world?

The role of the leader at a time where the workplace will never be the same again, along with the continued socio-economic impacts on our day to day lives, continues to present challenges.

This is the time for flexibility, a change in mindset, however uncomfortable that may be, and the opportunity to embrace agility. How successfully we navigate this comes down to how effectively we share information and support one another through this change.

Communicate with clarity.

Recent scientific research has revealed a link between social connection, longevity, and wellbeing – our human relationships strengthen the immune system and quite literally reinforce the essence of life. Encouraging and nurturing the time and space for conversations will bolster team and organisational resilience, underpinning workforce wellbeing. Every conversation has the potential to reinforce a sense of connection and belonging. People need to understand the why in what you do, the purpose.

Your team are looking for you to demonstrate that you value their contribution, focusing on output rather than hours worked, diversity of thought, resilience, and trust, whilst demonstrating vulnerability, and ensuring inclusivity. Gone are the days of micromanaging, teams will disengage, and employees will make a choice and talk with their feet. As a leader, demonstrating this balance is essential, and your team will follow.

Develop your people equitably – treating them as individuals and showing them that being happy and healthy are not the rewards from success but are critical for the path ahead. Adapt strategic thinking, there is genuine strength in flexibility – our strategies need to be agile and built on the why!

Hybrid working brings its own challenges, from presenteeism in the office, to digital presenteeism at home due to pressure of the ‘always-on’ culture. Be careful not to neglect those who may be ‘out of sight’. How are people feeling, thinking, and acting? Have regular check-ins, stay up to date with what is happening, and what challenges they may be facing. When people feel heard, they feel valued. Most importantly, do not forget to praise.

Employees that are valued and feel fulfilled by their job and working environment benefit from improved morale, a stronger sense of loyalty and much greater commitment, productivity, and capacity for innovation.

Success is where people love to work, no matter the location. If built on trust, connection, togetherness, and clarity, your organisational culture will thrive on the undeniable link between conversation and wellbeing.

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