08 Oct Are we a nation of Stressed Monkeys?
There is a very fine line between a leader who is a master at igniting success in a business, and a leader who believes they’re on fire, only to suddenly crash through burn out.
There is a sad dichotomy in many of Australasia’s board rooms; one that is growing more prevalent with every passing year.
As leaders, we are all aware of the Glass Ceiling that hammers down our possibilities for promotion due to the size of the business arena and yet the competitive edge is what we strive for day in and day out.
Stress in the workplace is an epidemic, and yes wellness programs within our corporates are an effective way to assist our employees, but sadly our leaders, executives and middle managers are often far too busy to take interest in these programs, and yet it is within these ranks that the impacts are by far the most detrimental to the company’s bottom line.
The Australian economy was impacted to the tune of $27.5 Billion dollars last year alone due to Stress and Sick leave. In NZ we don’t seem to be able to quantify the yearly dollar impact, but we do know that as New Zealanders we take more sick leave on average than the days generously allotted to us by our employers. Last year, Kiwi’s took an average of 9 sickies, with the Telecommunications and Utilities sectors having even higher rates.
How can a company recover from such an impact?
But worse yet, as leaders, taking a sickie or health day is just not in our psyche. We take our laptops home, we make sure everyone knows we answer our mobile 24×7, we text all the way to the airport if by chance we allow ourselves a family holiday, and work is a natural component of our dreams each night.
We’ve bred a nation of over achievers, of competitive leaders who understand how quickly restructure or redundancy can hit, and we’ve taken the humanity OUT of our workforce.
How do you think this impacts the people who work for us?
You show me an underperforming team, and I look straight to their manager for answers. You show me a company with a high staff turn-over rate, and I’ll show you a leadership team who are too busy to take their employees on the journey to the finish line with them.
Excellence in business is not determined by how quickly you get to that finish line. Excellence is determined by how many raving fans are with you when you get there.
As leaders we have a responsibility to put the magic back in to the workplace; to ignite our staff through leading by example; to ensure we make raving fans of those that have ‘chosen’ to work for us, instead of leaving bodies in our wake.
It’s time to put the Humanity back in to business.
It’s time our leaders learn that they also can have fun at work.