Leading for both Performance AND Wellbeing

As COVID-19 bites deeper into all our lives, we are hearing more about the detrimental impact on mental health and wellbeing. In the past few days, the Federal Government announced additional support, to help the growing number of Australians suffering stress and anxiety, caused by the knock-on effects of the virus.

At Steople, we’ve had many leaders approach us with concerns about wellbeing for themselves and those around them. Not since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), between 2007 to 2009, have we seen such a spike in workplace stress and anxiety, and the negative fallout from this pandemic may yet go much further.

At the time of the GFC, business leaders were, by necessity, being driven to push greater productivity and performance. This pressure often added to their own anxiety and that of their employees. Without the requisite skills to simultaneously deliver performance and maintain employee wellbeing, burnout and chronic stress increased dramatically.

In response to this situation, Steople teamed up with Deakin University. Our joint mission was to research and understand leadership qualities required to drive performance and, at the same time, maintain high levels of wellbeing. The collaboration identified seven key capabilities leaders need to develop in order to achieve this critically important juggling act.

We have since developed and widely applied a 360-degree assessment tool that reliably measures these capabilities, along with a series of interventions designed to help leaders develop related skills. Over the last ten years, hundreds of leaders and many organisations have benefited greatly from this work.

COVID-19 is likely to be with us for some time. The economic pain will linger considerably longer. Now, more than ever, leaders need support as they strive to keep businesses afloat, manage their own anxieties and help maintain the wellbeing of their staff.

Like many of our services, our work in helping leaders drive performance and wellbeing has been successfully adapted for these extraordinary times. What was previously delivered face-to-face, can now be provided virtually. Apart from the important skill building benefits of participating in these virtual program, leaders and teams report significant additional up-side from continuing to learn and connect, despite being physically isolated from colleagues.

If you are interested in finding out more about how leaders can be supported in these volatile and uncertain time please contact me at hfricke@steople.com.au