Why it’s important for male business leaders to open up about mental health and make their wellbeing a priority

working parent stressed, mental health

Article by Anthony Chadwick, Founder and CVO, The Webinar Vet

With the current climate still remaining unpredictable and non-discriminating, it is important to give stability and reassurance to employees to continue to help guide them through this period in time, but what if you’re a leader? Where is your support?

Isolated working and a reduction of social activity due to COVID is almost guaranteed to be detrimental to the mental wellbeing of business leaders, the key is a healthy balance of work and fun while being transparent about this with employees.

One of the most prominent lasting effects of the past year has been the sudden abandonment of once full and vibrant offices. A place leaders would go to escape for a multitude of reasons has now been forced to shut its doors permanently for some. As a result, leaders are now having to create their own “new normal” working environment and structure either in person, remotely or a hybrid mix of the two.

Transparency is key when it comes to making wellbeing a priority. As an extrovert, I’ve been quite honest with the team saying how much I have missed the energy of the office. The isolation of the last two years has been tough to manage, and I’ve made sure that as a management team we have checked in on team members multiple times to make sure they are alright. We also ran a weekly quiz on a Friday afternoon to do something nice with the team, and this is something I would encourage leaders to continue doing or start doing if they’re not implementing something similar with their employees, especially as this can be done in person or remotely.

Also try mindfulness training, this can be great for not only business leaders but for the team as well. By making these resources, or other similar wellbeing training freely available, employees know that the senior team fully supports all mental health initiatives, and are leading by example.

While it’s important that business leaders need to continue to make sure their team member’s mental wellbeing is being looked after it’s also vital that they are prioritising their own wellbeing too.

As a business owner, try to find that balance between jumping in and stepping back now and again. The latter is particularly crucial, especially as a business owner. You tend to work an incredible amount which can often be more detrimental as employees may expect you to respond at any hour of the day and think this is expected of them too which can often lead to burnout and stress. Giving yourself time, whether that be an extra half an hour added on to your usual lunch break (or giving yourself a lunch break in the first place!), treating yourself to a nice meal, or having a Saturday afternoon off, allowing yourself to these small graces can go a long way in achieving business success and improving your overall wellbeing.

Having team members that you can rely on and trust to take care of the day to day running of the business is also helpful in avoiding those feelings of being overwhelmed and keeping up with the demands of the businesses.

At the end of the day, whether you’re a business leader or not, we’re all in need of support and connection and we rely heavily on this during the colder months. With winter now quickly on the horizon, keeping the momentum and building on these core activities for yourself and your team, is key to keeping morale and wellbeing high.

Taking this into account, make sure this new world of hybrid working doesn’t deter you and your team’s Christmas fun. Encourage your team to get their trees up and mince pies out early and book a date in everyone’s diary for some festive fun – it is so important to have something to look forward to! Unfortunately, nobody knows how long the current situation will last, but trying to alleviate the unnecessary pressures associated with working from home and incorporating real-life social interaction at work where possible, can make the world of difference to employees and leaders as we look to welcoming a new year.

About the author

Anthony ChadwickAnthony Chadwick, a serial entrepreneur, is the founder and CVO of The Webinar Vet, a world leader in online veterinary education. He is one of the most recognised and respected thought leaders in the UK veterinary sector. Anthony is famous for disrupting the veterinary profession with new and innovative ideas to make life easier for vets and nurses. He is very passionate about providing high quality education and services to veterinary professionals in a very accessible and affordable manner which is also sustainable for the environment.

Anthony founded The Webinar Vet in 2010, when the word webinar was not in the veterinary dictionary.  A vet by trade, whilst at an internet conference he spotted a gap in the market to make veterinary education and training more accessible and affordable, via the medium of webinars. Trailblazers in the industry, the company grew very quickly and now has over 75,000 veterinary professionals accessing the training in over 120 countries. Students currently spend a combined annual total of over 200,000 a year training on the site. The Webinar Vet training has reduced travel mileage by several million miles since starting in 2010 with concomitant carbon reduction.

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