Hope you’re well…
We say it without thinking. But as leaders, it’s our responsibility to make sure those words carry real weight – for ourselves and for our employees.
And this week, CRMNEXT’s Banking on Experience teams up with The Strategic Hotbox podcast and its fantastic host, Dr. Brandi Stankovic (COO and Chief Strategy Officer of CU Solutions Group) for a takeover episode that puts mental health front and center.
Why Brandi and James are both passionate about mental wellness.
“What makes mental health so different than some of the other more external, physical well-being pieces is that it’s so private,” says Brandi. People are still reticent to talk about it, and — when they do — there’s often stigma to deal with.
The idea that we cannot be vulnerable in business makes James’ “hate” list (and that’s saying something!)
“We literally have created a fear — not just at the leadership level, but at every level — where people feel like they cannot express how they’re feeling without ramification,” he says. “Now we have to knock it down. Those days are over.”
The biggest challenges leaders face in addressing mental health.
For one, it’s often not as readily recognized as other health issues. But Brandi also points out some of the institutional challenges that are associated, such as less coverage from a medical/benefits standpoint.
Then there are the intangibles. We’re dealing with “that American ‘go get em!’ culture,” she says. “We’re rewarding one another for being over the top and busy and burnt out vs. rewarding one another for being healthy and including some of that mental health into our lives.”
Tackling mental health (and stigmas around it) at every level of your organization.
The best place to start? With you. Brandi suggests first conducting a self-check. Ask yourself the tough questions. Learn your “sweet spots” (what brings you happiness) and, perhaps more importantly, your “hot spots” (triggers).
Make a list. And make it as objective as possible. As Brandi says, “The enemy of execution is complexity and from a mental health standpoint, it’s nothing but complex.” So, the simpler we can make it, the better.
Breakin’ it down: a plan of action (that will make a real difference).
From an organizational perspective, Dr. Stankovic suggests the following:
- Make it a priority.
- Get it in writing and into your strategic plan.
- Challenge your benefits provider to offer better solutions.
- Challenge your human resources department to create wellness plans that incorporate whole-body wellness.
- Examine everything from ergonomics to time off to decluttering to the many other pieces that can play a role.
- Get the whole organization involved.
Top 3 “kick-ass” takeaways.
- Take an hour. Schedule it. Just do it.
- Put it in writing. If you’re an organization, put it in your strategic plan. If you’re a leader, put it in your own individual goals.
- Reach out to someone who brings you joy or support to say thank you. Just the act of writing it can make a difference, says Brandi. And “If you can’t write it,” James adds, “just say it.”
Here’s to excellent mental health — for you, your team, and your entire organization.