Nowadays, it’s no secret that good health among your employees plays an essential role in the business theater. And you, as their leader, are the star of the show when it comes to your employees’ good health and well-being. This goes beyond providing healthy foods and rest periods, it also presupposes that you supply plenty of drinking water and ensure that break times are upheld. These things you do as a matter of course. There are, however, other aspects that go far to establishing and safeguarding your employees’ health.
An employee’s mental health is just as important as their physical fitness. An excellent health model for employee leaders is Aaron Antonovsky’s Salutogenese, which he developed at the end of the 1970s. Among other aspects, Salutogenese propounds the importance of every person finding meaning in everything they do. Antonovsky calls this a sense of coherence and defines three significant aspects: understandability, meaningfulness and feasibility within one’s own environment. In reference to employee leadership – although Antonovsky’s model was not specifically developed for this purpose – this means understandability, meaningfulness and feasibility of your employees’ work and related tasks.
When it comes to understandability, you are responsible for ensuring that your employees understand what is expected of them; that they have a clear concept of what processes and assignments entail. Often, though, your people do not grasp the meaning of what they are expected to do, do not have an idea of the bigger picture. It is then a short step to demotivation, or even despair, because an employee is not consciously aware of the value of his or her efforts. The third aspect, feasibility, means that your staff members are certain they have the capacity to fulfil their tasks and meet expectations. There must be a framework in which employees can secure knowledge and competence to capably master their tasks.
Last but not least, leading your employees to a sense of coherence takes time. Yet, often, leaders are expected to invest the greater part of their energy to operative tasks, leading employees on the side, so to speak. But if a sense of coherence from Aaron Antonovsky’s Salutogenese model is to strengthen your leadership qualities, a trusting relationship must be established between you and your employees, with frequent communications to maintain a solid, enduring rapport. As time-consuming as it may be, it also ensures your employees’ good mental health and well-being. To your good health!