What can a line manager do to improve team well-being?

“Good line management can lead to good health, well-being and improved performance.” Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health and Work

A line manager’s role in improving the performance of their staff is well documented, but a manager’s impact on an individual’s health and well-being, what is that about? Surely a manager has enough on their plate without being responsible for other people’s health!

With stress at work on the increase, this article is going to look at the ways a manager’s behaviour and competence can affect the stress within their team:-

Behaviour towards staff – a manager’s behaviour will have a direct impact on how the members of the team feel. If the manager is clear, consistent, open, fair and approachable, the team will feel that they know what is expected of them, that they will be valued and they can ask for help if needed. If the manager is disorganised, secretive, inconsistent or moody, then this will cause stress within the team as they will lack clarity, focus and support.

Gatekeeper – the manager is the buffer between the individual and the rest of the business. A manager can protect and support the individual, they can negotiate extended deadlines or increased resources where necessary. However, an unsupportive manager can leave a member of staff feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Being alert – as a manager who knows their team, they are in the best place to spot at an early stage if one of their team members is struggling or is showing warning signs of being at risk of stress-related problems. Regular informal chats with team members will create and maintain good relationships and provide vital communication channels if someone needs help.

Taking action – if one of the team members suffers from a health problem or becomes disengaged, the manager is likely to be involved in the solution. At the very least, they will be involved in managing the person’s absence or other health impacts on their work.

This post was written by Charlie Damonsing of CLAssociates. CLAssociates specialises in helping businesses manage stress in the workplace, providing consultancy, training and 1-2-1 support. For further details please contact Charlie on 0771 559 6487.

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