Good management and leadership

How good management protects staff

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Advice for managers

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Resources for managers

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“Good management and leadership protects responders.”


Research also shows “Workplace stress is as big a threat to responder wellbeing as trauma exposure.” - the Lifelines Essential #8.

Talking about the wider workforce, Professor Cary Cooper President of the British Academy of Management, said "we should pin a sign to every office door reading 'Your manager is potentially dangerous for your mental health'"!

However, the good news is that the opposite is also true and good leadership is associated with staff wellbeing, morale and good mental health. It is a key part of your Protective Armour.

Good management

If you’ve experienced good management, you will know how that feels. They are the managers who set clear and achievable tasks, communicate well and build strong teams. They give us some control, recognise and appreciate hard work, inspire us to do our best and generally have our back. These qualities are equally helpful whether the manager is leading a response to a major incident,training new recruits or supporting someone who is off sick.

Advice for managers.... 

Remember that you set the tone and culture in the workplace and this is especially important when we’re talking about staff well-being. There’s little point trying to encourage staff to take care of themselves if you’re not looking after yourself.

If you don’t take breaks or holidays, and regularly send emails at out of work hours, then your staff will feel they need to do the same. Model the importance of rest and recuperation, both within the working day and outside of work.

Don’t underestimate the power you have to show by your actions that staff are valued and respected at work.  Giving positive feedback and saying thank you builds staff confidence and team loyalty.

Protect time for team activities, both formal meetings and informal coffee breaks. You may have to do these virtually just now.  These routines and this informal social support are at the heart of what keeps us well at work.

Resources for managers

We worked with colleagues from Scottish Mountain  Rescue and the UK Search and Rescue Wellbeing Group to develop the Stay Safe Stay Well framework for organisations supporting volunteer responders. You can download the framework and guidance document here.

Project Lift a project aimed at supporting leadership and at all stages in all roles across health and social care in Scotland. You can find out more information on their website.

NHS Education for Scotland has resources for managers in the Leadership and Management Zone on TURAS LEARN  and is working with Know You More to offer digital wellbeing coaching for managers.

The College of Paramedics has prepared Guidance for Managers on Psychosocial Support and Mental Wellbeing of Ambulance Personnel in a Pandemic Crisis.

The Mental Health Foundation has helpful documents on How to Support Mental Health at Work.

Mind have guidance on How to implement the Thriving at Work mental health standards in your workplace.

You can also find more information to help you support your team on the When I might need some help pages.