Stressed Leaders Run Great Risk of Serious Illness - Experts at Mood At Work Takes Action
Updated: Sep 14
Absence due to sickness has increased sharply in recent years in Sweden, both among managers and employees. We repeatedly see how leaders expose their employees to mental illness because they are being stressed. Should we continue like this? Is this good for anyone? In times of crisis, managers need to take care of themselves and manage their stress. Therefore, the experts at Mood At Work are now working to urge the seriousness of this and, at the same time, offer help, so that companies and managers can both save money and health during these difficult times.
In times of crisis, managers need to take care of themselves and manage their own stress. It's just like with the oxygen mask on airplanes - take care of your own oxygen first, and then you can help others. This is extra important now, because the leader must be on hand to support employees who are extra dependent on security and clarity when there are uncertainty and worry. Each manager's behavior affects the work environment to a great extent, and here is an opportunity to be a leader who positively affects the health of the employees.
Many managers and leaders usually live with the feeling of having too much to do and way too little time to do it. That feeling is most likely reinforced in these challenging "corona times." But it is essential to take the time, inform, listen and be supportive to their employees.
"It should not be difficult to do things right."
As the company name reveals - Mood At Work - Their area of expertise is prosperous at work. They are specialists in the working environment, leadership, HR, and practical labor law, and work together with companies and organizations for a healthy working environment.
– For us, this is more than just a job. Our passion is to develop and inspire managers, employees, and companies to create a profitable and healthy workplace. In fact, we think it is a human right to feel good at work! For us, it is not "just" about doing the right things according to law and agreements, but it is profitable for companies to invest in the work environment and leadership development, says Jessica Schultz, one of the founders.
– We know that it is both fun and easy to do the right things if you know how to do it. That's what we do - we show the way. Many studies and research show that companies that invest in different efforts in the work environment receive so much back to the company. That is, it is an investment, not a cost. People who are happy and feel good at work perform better. We work long-term with most of our customers because this is not a "quick fix". Creating a change takes time.
"Prioritizing and focusing on sustainability will, in the long run, result in higher profitability."
Working with sustainable individuals and organizations is profitable, and we offer our customers research-based process support for sustainable results and employees. To give a few examples, a person lowers their productivity by 12% when having sleeping problems, and 9% when feeling stressed. It may not sound much, but it affects the company enormously.
Here is 4 things you can do to work with sustainability and save lots of money:
1. Engage - Management's commitment is essential
Don't just create a document filled with policy rules and guidelines. As a manager, you have to lead and show the way. Get your employees to think and work safely, both physically and psychosocially. You probably need to change your behavior. Do things differently. Sit down with your employees and talk about what you do in the company. What do we do in the company? What are the risks?
It is essential to understand why working with the work environment is necessary. The management's task is to sell it to the employees. Get them on board!
2. Prevention, prevention, and prevention!
The preventive work. In addition to reducing human suffering, there is money to save. Take sick leave as a simple example; here, you can quickly obtain improvements by working preventively. The significant advantage of working preventively is that there is money to save, not only in reduced costs but also in increased productivity. Productivity loss at high-stress level, lack of sleep, and/or lack of work environment is according to studies between 9-40%. These figures apply when employees are present at work, less productive, but not yet sick.
Absence due to illness or sick leave is a simple example where you can very quickly recover cost savings. If the managers do not have to call in substitutes, do not manage administration, do not have meetings with the Social Insurance Office and doctors, do not have to spend time dealing with the consequences of the sick leave. All sick leave can not be avoided. But having routines for how to work preventively, before employees are absent, saves time, money, and often human suffering—especially linked to mental illness where the average absence due to illness is almost 130 days according to Statistics in Sweden. And the way back to work is long and time-consuming for both employers and individuals.
You need to have a plan for how the work should be carried out. Take, for example, a project manager who is working on a large project that runs over the summer period. Can he/she take out their planned vacation, or must telephone calls and crisis management be handled from the beach? Can you introduce someone else in the project to ensure recovery and prevent unhealthy workload?
4. Risk assessment
Risk assessment is about deciding and anticipating risks before they occur. You will not be able to handle all the risks, it is about prioritizing, and you must deal with the severe risks. Here, you greatly benefit from preventative reports on risk observations, learning from things that have happened, and best of all, from things that have not yet happened but that have been identified as a potential risk.
To be aware of the risk situations that can occur and assess what we can do to minimize sickness and accidents, our work must be done regularly.
Mood At Work: