Good leadership protects Mental Health

Study links leadership and mental health / Initiative "New Quality of Work" supports managers with eLearning Tool

Foto: kasto - fotolia.com

The leadership has an enormous impact on the wellbeing and mental health of employees. This is the result of the current study "Rewarding and sustainable health-promoting leadership", published by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In particular, the commitment of the employees and the team climate was strengthened due to health-promoting leadership. In addition, the employees felt less exhausted under a leadership that supported them and their autonomy. These are aspects that are relevant for each company, as steadily increasing downtimes due to mental illness show. Therefore, the initiative New Quality of Work (INQA) by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs supports executives with an interactive eLearning tool.

But what makes leadership style health-promoting? An important factor is room for action and decision-making for employees and their active participation in the company – elements that have proven also in practice, as Thomas Sattelberger, former personnel director of several DAX companies and INQA Topics Ambassador, confirmed: "Employees increasingly become corporate citizens who claim sovereignty and participation. And that is good! People who actively participate in shaping the company, feel more comfortable and are more committed. We must move away from a management culture that is based only on numbers, and towards a management style that promotes a holistic corporate culture. "

Health-promoting leadership can be learned: The study shows that measures such as workshops and coaching concerning health promotion can improve the management style and the health perception. In particular, both sick leave and presentism were reduced; work commitment and team climate were improved. To achieve these goals in their own companies, employers and executives can turn to the New Quality of Work Initiative (INQA) for support. In the course of the project "Mental Health in the Workplace" (psyGA), a range of material for businesses and organizations of all sizes and industries was published. Tips and inspiring practical examples illustrate the topic for decision-makers from small and medium enterprises. With an interactive eLearning tool, executives can get acquainted with the topic, reflect about own resources and the situation in the company, and learn more about possible measures.