Supporting wellness

Supporting wellness

Leaders have a huge influence on employee health and well-being, affecting employee wellbeing at a number of levels. Your behaviour directly influences how staff members feel about being at work either positively or negatively.

You are the principal interface between them and the organisation thereby influencing their behaviour by protecting them from excess pressure or other factors that may affect their well-being.

You can also be helpful by identifying problems at an early stage and encouraging them to deal with these problems. 

  Check the hints and tips section for practical input to your conversations.


Match the tool to the task

  • Challenge is healthy loses its beneficial effect if resulting pressure becomes excessive. Learn more about how to recognise the signs of stressin your staff.
  • Use the Skill/will matrix to understand the best way to support your staff member and keep challenge at a healthy level.
  • Review your own competencies in light of the competencies described in the Stress at work framework and determine what you can do to help minimise stress in your staff.
  • Help your staff take control of their well-being by preparing a Well-being@work plan.
  • Encourage individuals to use What's in my control to gain an understanding of those areas that they can and cannot influence and control.

Further reading

  • Fundamental principles of occupational health and safety, Benjamin O Alli and International Labour Office (2008)
  • Infection control: a psychosocial approach to changing practice, Paul Elliott (2009)
  • The stress pocketbook, Mary Richards and Phil Hailstone (2009)
  • Overcoming secondary stress in medical and nursing practice: a guide to professional resilience and personal well-being, Robert J. Wicks (2005)
  • How to survive in medicine: personally and professionally, Jenny Firth-Cozens (2013)

Hints and tips for conversations

  • Watch out for these signs of stress in yourself and your staff members.
    • Working too hard. When times are tough, we tend to double our efforts. Putting in very long days on a regular basis will tire you out and render you ineffective.
    • Loss of self. Stress can cause us to withdraw or do things out of character. If you're losing your personality or skipping things that used to be important to you, step back and evaluate your stress level.
    • Delusions of grandeur. We all like to think we're important. However, it is unlikely that your job directly affects the fate of your entire Trust. Keep your role in perspective. Take a break when required.
  • Encourage your staff members to understand their priorities and make sure they make them known.

Designed and developed for the London Leadership Academy by Heather Schoenheimer Consulting, in conjunction with the Royal Free London Foundation Trust OD Department