5 Ways Leadership Development Delivers the US Surgeon General’s Mental Health Fundamentals.

As President Biden’s US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy reprized his role under the Obama administration from 2014 to 2017. Murthy also chaired Biden’s Covid-19 Advisory Board and was a longtime adviser to Biden during the pandemic. Recently, the Surgeon General published his framework for mental health and wellbeing in the workplacewhich provides an overview of five components that reimagine workplaces as engines of well-being and create sustainable and supportive mental health.

The framework for mental health and well-being

Research shows that 76% of American workers have at least one symptom of a mental health condition, 84% say their workplace conditions contribute to at least one mental health problem, and 81% report that will look for workplaces that support mental health in the future. The Surgeon General’s Five Essentials for Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace are designed to address these statistics and the mental health crisis.

  1. damage protection. Prioritizing physical and psychological safety, enabling adequate rest, normalizing and supporting mental health, and operationalizing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility standards, policies, and programs.
  2. Connection and Community. Create cultures of inclusion and belonging, cultivate relationships of trust, and encourage collaboration and teamwork.
  3. Work-life harmony. Provide more autonomy over how work gets done, making hours as flexible and predictable as possible, increasing access to paid leave, and respecting the boundaries between work and free time.
  4. importance at work. Provide a living wage, involve workers in workplace decisions, build a culture of gratitude and appreciation, and connect individual work to the organization’s mission.
  5. Growth opportunity. Offer quality training, education and mentoring, fostering clear and equitable pathways for career advancement, ensuring relevant and reciprocal feedback.

How leadership development meets the essentials

These essentials come at a critical time as employers are trying to improve retention and engagement, while workers are prioritizing their mental health. As executive director of The National Society for Leadership and Success, Neil Khaund believes that leadership development is the key to meeting all of the needs outlined in the report. “Leaders must treat wellness in the workplace not only as a way to boost performance or improve retention, but also as a fundamental part of their social responsibility,” Khaund says. Here’s how he envisions a leadership training program can help companies follow the U.S. Surgeon General’s essentials for mental health and wellness in the workplace:

Damage protection. Leadership training can teach employees to build their emotional resilience to support a sense of security in a changing world. Providing such training also makes employees feel more supported and safe in their workplaces.

Importance at work. Leadership development helps professionals better clarify both their passions and their abilities. Knowing what they are good at and what matters to them helps employees focus on how their contributions can help carve out a role that fulfills them and helps their teammates and bosses.

Work-life harmony. Time management skills solidified in leadership training programs help employees achieve more while maintaining better boundaries between their professional and personal lives. Ultimately, this creates more satisfaction in both areas – the recipe for a harmonious and more rewarding life.

Connection and community. A key component of leadership development is practicing soft skills with like-minded people, which forms lasting bonds through vulnerability and shared growth. The friendships made during leadership training can become the foundation of a strong professional network and working community.

Growth opportunity. Leadership development programs help growth by equipping people with the mindset to advance in the workplace. Companies that invest in leadership training provide their teams with the building blocks of personal and professional fulfillment, which, in turn, leads to a higher return on investment.

“Throughout my career, I have seen leadership training enhance the five essentials for workplace wellness outlined in the US Surgeon General’s guidelines,” concludes Khaund. “I think it’s time to reframe leadership development as more than just a tool to advance your career or improve productivity, and as a key to thriving in the workforce and creating a more fulfilling life. Organizations can offer leadership development as their contribution to the movement, prioritizing mental health and wellbeing. One way or another, society is changing to put people first. Organizations that lead this movement by offering leadership development will ultimately be more successful and have happier, healthier workers.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *