Why CEOs Need a Wellness Plan, Too
Few realize the stresses the top leaders encounter
In the past couple of years, leaders have been strongly encouraged to do more to support their employees' well-being—more mental health days, more support for self-care, a deeper understanding of the struggles people face in remote and hybrid environments. But there's less conversation about how those issues occupy the C-suite too.
In some ways, that's understandable—leaders are often asked to present themselves as calm and collected, even if they are not. But that demand creates its own set of problems. Of course, leaders are stressed, and just as many things in organizations, the stress trickles down if it goes unaddressed. In 2017, an American Heart Association study that found that employee participation in workplace health programs increased when they knew that the CEO themself participated.
So, putting up a brave front isn’t just false, it’s counterproductive and risks eroding an executive's position. And these days, it comes at a time when leaders are asked to field more challenges than ever. As Heidrick & Struggles partner Sharon Sands wrote last week for the World Economic Forum, many leaders feel trapped under a pile of problems and superhero-like expectations.
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