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, says we should “pin a sign to every office door reading ‘Your manager is potentially dangerous to 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 fatal road traffic collision, 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.

Take a look at our quick guide to supporting your team on our resources page.

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.

See Me Scotland have lots of great resources to support mental health in the workplace.

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.

Police Care UK has a range of materials to help individuals and teams.

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