Written by Kate Scott | 6th May 2021

6th May 2021

We all know how important it is for managers and team leaders to look after the mental health and wellbeing of the people they are responsible for.

But who looks after the managers and business owners? Throughout the pandemic, there perhaps hasn’t been as much emphasis on supporting managers of people as there should have been.

Here are some tips from the team at Reality HR.

Be aware of your own mental health

While employees often have peers in their team, being a manager can be incredibly lonely and the additional pressure of the pandemic may have had a negative impact on your mental health. Recognising your mental health may be suffering is an important first step – do you feel tired, burned out or unmotivated?

Just as you would advise your team to do, you should reach out for support. Talking it through with fellow managers or HR can take a weight off your shoulders and also guide you to numerous sources of support that is available.

Don’t forget to make use of wellbeing programmes and initiatives, such as Employee Assistance Programmes, that may be available through your business and are there to support everyone.

Create self-care habits

Managers should be proactive in ensuring their teams are not overworking – it is important to lead by example. It’s likely you’re encouraging your teams to adopt healthier working habits such as taking full lunch breaks, and you should be doing the same.

Managers need to be seen to take breaks – and don’t forget to take annual leave. Everyone needs time to rest and recuperate, particularly after busy periods of work.

Find a way of getting regular physical exercise or practicing mindfulness and stick to it by making it part of your normal routine.

Go for a brief walk outside if you can, some fresh air can often help clear your head after a stressful day.

Set work boundaries

It’s much harder to switch off if you are working in the same place as you live, with access to work systems at all times. People are now more likely to carry on working well into the evening or pick up work at the weekend.

You should establish your own – and your team’s – boundaries and agree to respect each other’s working schedules. That email on a Friday evening or Sunday morning? It can probably wait until Monday morning!

Stay connected to your team

It can be tempting to let the catch ups or social activities with your team slip down your list of priorities during this time. But staying in touch is not only vital to your own wellbeing, but crucial to the wellbeing of your colleagues. You should try to keep up with things you started in the first lockdown, such as weekly quizzes or Friday zoom drinks.

If you and your team members are working remotely or even partly in the office, it can make a world of difference to see the faces of people you know even if it’s just for a quick team meeting.

Don’t do everything – share the workload

Like many managers, you may have found it harder to delegate effectively when remote working.

This is the time to empower your team and adopt a more collaborative management style. In doing so, you’ll be able to slow down, and remain level-headed. It also shows that you trust your team, which will help build better relationships and enable employees to thrive.

Brush up on your skills

Management style is a common cause of stress at work. You may feel a lack of confidence in certain areas such as managing difficult people and situations or managing change.

Additionally, you are often the first port of call when one of your team is struggling with their wellbeing, and this can lead to sensitive conversations which may be tough for you to manage.

Taking refresher management courses or new ones, will help you develop the skills to handle those more difficult situations, reducing some of your anxieties and worries and allow you to lead your teams in the best way possible.

View our list of Management and leadership courses here.

Ask for HR support

As a manager you may feel it more difficult to be open up about your struggles if you don’t have a line manager of your own to speak to.

Your HR team or representative will be able to give you advice and point you in the direction of resources that can help.

Continuing to keep your head down could result in long-term issues. Remember that being resilient does not mean putting up with feeling stressed or down, it also means knowing when you need help.

We have a range of wellbeing and mental health training courses available for managers and employees. To find out more go to https://www.realityhr.co.uk/mental-health-and-wellbeing/ or contact info@realityhr.co.uk and one of our team will be pleased to answer any questions.