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Leaders Directly Impact The Well-Being Of Their Team

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Leaders play a crucial role in shaping the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. A positive and supportive work environment can improve job satisfaction, increase productivity and decrease absenteeism. However, a negative or unsupportive work environment can lead to burnout, stress, and even mental health issues.

The Workforce Institute at UKG surveyed 3,400 people across 10 countries to spotlight the critical role our jobs, leadership, and, most of all, our managers play in supporting mental health in and outside of work.

Key Insights from the Study:

  • Leaders impact employees’ mental health (69%) more than doctors (51%) or therapists (41%) — and even the same as a spouse or partner (69%).

  • 28% of employees believe that their manager has a direct impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

  • More than 80% of employees would rather have good mental health than a high-paying job.

  • Two-thirds of employees would take a pay cut for a job that better supports their mental wellness — and 70% of managers would, too.

  • Work stress negatively impacts employees’ home life (71%), wellbeing (64%), and relationships (62%).

  • 40% of the C-suite says they will likely quit within the year because of work-related stress.

Managers are more often stressed out than their team members and senior leadership (42% vs. 40% and 35%, respectively), and 25% say they are “often” or“always” feeling burned out. This “middle layer” is the most at risk in many companies and feel the greatest day-to-day stress. But the C-suite is not immune to challenges, either. A surprising 33% ofC-level leaders say, “I don’t want to work anymore,” and the younger the leader, the more they agree with that statement. In fact, a whopping 40% of theC-suite says they will likely quit in the next 12 months due to work-related stress. Being overwhelmed consumes human energy and impacts retention, performance, innovation, and culture. Employers can be the anchor of stability for their people by giving them the support and resources they need. 7 Behaviors to Positively Impact theTeam’s Wellbeing: Here are seven good behaviors that managers can exhibit to positively influence the mental health and wellbeing of their team:

  1. Lead by example: Managers who take care of their own mental health and wellbeing set a good example for their employees to follow.

  2. Communicate effectively: Regular communication with employees can help managers understand their concerns and issues. Encouraging open and honest communication builds trust and promotes a supportive work environment.

  3. Provide clear expectations and feedback: Providing clear expectations and feedback can help employees feel more confident and reduce stress levels.

  4. Recognize and appreciate employees: Recognizing and appreciating the hard work of employees can boost their confidence and motivation. It can also create a positive work environment where employees feel valued.

  5. Support professional development: Providing opportunities for professional development can help employees feel valued and increase job satisfaction.

  6. Address conflicts and problems: Addressing conflicts and problems promptly can prevent stress from escalating and creating a toxic work environment.

  7. Foster a positive work culture: A positive work culture that promotes respect, inclusion, and collaboration can improve job satisfaction and mental health.

Summary: The research makes it clear that many people are suffering in silence. Leaders need to avoid burying their heads in the sand and instead make mental health a global topic of discussion within their teams. Don’t force a discussion, but make it ok for people to have one. Pause to checkin with employees, even if you’re uncomfortable asking how someone is. That’s what leadership is. By exhibiting good behaviors such as leading by example, communicating effectively, recognizing and appreciating employees, and fostering a positive work culture, managers can positively influence the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. It is important for managers to prioritize their employees' mental health and wellbeing to create a supportive work environment that promotes job satisfaction, productivity, and overall wellbeing.


  • Workforce Institute. (2023). Mental Health at Work: Managers and Money. Retrieved from:

  • Workforce Institute. (2022). 2022 Workplace Predictions. Retrieved from

  • American Psychological Association. (2022). Ways to Improve Employee Mental Health. Retrieved from:


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