Evolved leaders that embody collaboration and inclusivity will have a competitive advantage in the workplace.
In today's rapidly evolving work landscape, the emphasis of culture and employee well-being is rapidly compelling organizations to reassess their interconnection and their roles as critical business imperatives.
One of the key factors that influence culture, and the overall health of an organization is the style and approach of its leaders.
As rates of employee burnout, mental health issues, and harassment and/or microaggressions felt by women in the workplace continue to rise, traditional models of business-first and transactional leadership, often viewed as toxic, must evolve.
They need to transform into collaborative and inclusive leadership styles that empower employees and foster innovation.
Leaders who evolve in this way will have a competitive advantage in the workplace as they will embody health leadership.
By nurturing and developing a new generation of “healthy leaders,” organizations can effectively combat toxic workplace environments and foster a culture of productivity, innovation, well-being and thriving for all.
Toxic workplaces, characterized by stress, low morale, and poor mental health, have devastating effects on both employees and the company's bottom line.
They carry an array of negative attributes, such as high levels of stress, constant conflicts, lack of communication, and a general feeling of dissatisfaction among employees that don't feel seen, heard, or recognized.
These environments not only hinder personal growth and job satisfaction but also hamper overall organizational success.
Data from the American Psychological Association reveals, “…19% of workers say their workplace is very or somewhat toxic, and those who reported a toxic workplace were more than three times as likely to have said they have experienced harm to their mental health at work than those who report a healthy workplace (52% vs. 15%).”
While a toxic workplace can be the result of toxic leaders, it's not solely limited to leadership behavior.
Other factors contribute to a toxic workplace such as: organizational culture, ineffective HR policies, lack of accountability, failure to address issues, and inadequate leadership training.
Healthy leaders play a pivotal role in transforming toxic workplaces into thriving and dynamic ecosystems because foundationally, they emphasize an employee as a human rather than a transaction.
This important distinction allows a leader and team member to forge an authentic relationship and partnership in creating value both for the business and their careers.
Healthy leaders prioritize employee empowerment and well-being as cornerstones of engagement and innovation, possessing strong inner skills to help navigate employee uncertainty and drive positive change in a new way.
These leadership qualities and actions contribute to the creation of a healthier work environment through:
An imperative to create healthy leadership in the workplace has not been prioritized since the inception of the eight-hour workday in 1866.
With today’s shifting market dynamics, Executives can now make a choice – invest in building healthy leaders to grow people and the business or not – and risk skyrocketing health insurance claims, low productivity, and slow business and professional growth.
Developing healthy leaders is a multi-faceted process that requires a combination of training, coaching, and organizational support.
Here are 10 ways your organization can invest in creating healthy leaders:
The ability to combat toxic workplaces through the creation of healthy leaders is a business imperative that yields numerous benefits for both employees and organizations:
In summary, the role of healthy leaders in combatting toxic workplaces cannot be overstated.
Their leadership qualities, rooted in a foundation of inner skills such as effective communication, empathy, psychological safety, and promoting well-being, are crucial for transforming a toxic work environment into a thriving, productive, and innovative one.
By investing in the development of healthy leaders, organizations can create a positive ripple effect that benefits employees, the organization, and the broader community.
Through self-awareness, training, and ongoing coaching support, organizations can shape leaders who not only drive success but also foster a culture of well-being and collaboration.