Kate Billing

Executive Wellbeing is Tanking

"Our environment is a non-stop triggering mechanism whose impact on our behaviour [and wellbeing] is too significant to be ignored"

A 2022 global study by Deloitte (in partnership with Workplace Intelligence) found that 70% of Executives surveyed are seriously considering leaving their current role for one that better supports their wellbeing.

Let that sink in for a moment.
And these are not idle thoughts/threats.

Fifty six percent of the same Executives surveyed have done it before. They’ve left a job that was negatively affecting their wellbeing. That means the barriers to making that decision a second time are fewer.

In other recent global research, the 2022 McKinsey Women in the Workplace Survey reported that 43% of women leaders are burned out compared to 31% of men.

Anecdotal evidence from New Zealand organisations is that since the beginning of 2022, female Executive and senior leaders are resigning in roughly twice the numbers of their male counterparts with one of the four principal reasons being WELLBEING.

BUT there is some good news for CEOs and HR Teams – 82% of those Execs surveyed would be more likely to stay with their organisation if it better supported their wellbeing.

They’re exhausted, stressed out, overwhelmed with work, lonely and sometimes feeling depressed.

  • They’re not getting enough time with family and friends
  • They’re not taking minibreaks throughout the day or a proper lunch break – even just 30 mins away from their desks/screens
  • They’re working WAY more than 40 hours a week, not getting enough sleep, and not moving enough
  • They’re not using all of their leave each year; and
  • They’re not stopping and starting work at reasonable hours (or modeling this to their teams, the rest of the business, or their family at home.)

It’s time to recognise the massive impact our evolving ways of working, the dissolution of boundaries between home/work, the ever accelerating pace and convergent nature of change, and our day-to-day workplace culture and practices have on our holistic wellbeing. This combination of factors is seriously diminishing our leadership capacity and our ability to function at the highest levels – where ever we are in our lives, whoever we’re with, and whatever we’re doing.

We’re living, leading and working in a world created BY us but not FOR us.

Acknowledging this provides an opportunity to consciously and deliberately design how we live, lead and work based on how human beings are actually wired so we can HUMAN BETTER in a world that’s becoming increasingly challenging to that, and yet needs it more than ever.

Key to turning around this scary 70% statistic of suffering is creating what I call a ‘Working Well’ culture of mindsets, practices, and behaviours within the Executive Team. Policy changes, band aid solutions, and short-term fixes simply won’t make the changes necessary to what has become a systemic problem.

Deeper development is what’s required, approaching this personal and collective change from a mindset, identity and belief level first before moving onto behaviours and possible solutions to experiment with. Each person needs to be involved in an informed and co-creative approach of self-identified strategies based on their unique context and the shared context of the group. One-size-fits all doesn’t fit!

This situation won’t change itself.

Be safe and well.

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