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Leadership, it seems, has never faced so many challenges as the world pivots away from the Victorian mill owner mentality and towards a new dynamic.

As reported by mentl, a flurry of research and data has emerged which paints an alarming picture of burnout among employees and their leaders on the rise.

McKinsey and Co’s latest study of 4,000 workers across the UAE, Saudi, Kuwait and Qatar showed more than 66 percent of employees struggling with their mental health.

And what of those in the c-suite? Bupa’s earlier executive survey showed 94 percent of management suffering too, with 20 percent reporting acute burnout.

And, if it’s lonely at the top imagine this, ‘the feeling of being lonely may be as harmful to the body as smoking 15 cigarettes a day’, so said the renowned Dr Rangan Chatterjee on ‘the mentl space’ podcast just this week.

Click the picture to listen or watch ‘the mentl space’ podcast with Dr Rangan Chatterjee

So, what should leaders be focused on in this new paradigm?

Michael (Mick) Todd, founder and director of coaching and training at 2b Limitless Success and leadership coach, sat down to discuss the challenges ahead.

He will be speaking at the upcoming Wellbeing at Work Summit Middle East 2023, which returns to the region for its 7th edition from February 21 to 23.

This year mentl is delighted to be an official partner of the conference – and if you are planning on attending (you should) use the discount code MENTL20 to unlock a 20 percent discount for your organisation. Click here to register for the event.

Mick Todd, founder and director of coaching and training at 2b Limitless Success

Leadership challenges

Q) As a leader based in the region, what are the main challenges you are facing when it comes to employee wellbeing?

A) The volume, speed and international nature of our work means that our people need to be responsive, on and dynamic in the way that they interact with our clients. Our business is all about experience, so it requires them to manage their energy and have a real deep understanding of their rituals and what drives ‘a great week’.

Q) Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally?

A) Our purpose is – ‘Because your world needs you at your best…’ We are passionate about the impact on the world that everybody gets to turn up at their best… Imagine!

What we know is that the three things that correlate most positively are… ‘Engaged Employees, Client Experience and Profitability’… Engaged Employees is the lead indicator, Great Client Experience is the driver and Profitability is the key outcome. So it makes sense on all levels of business that employee well-being is a central driver of success.

Q)  What are you most looking forward to about the Summit?

A) The opportunity for exposure to new information and experiences around the emerging trends in the high-performance workplace. Learning from and engaging with other leaders in the field.

Q) Tell us, what is your vision for the workplace of the future, in terms of employee engagement, health and wellbeing?

A) We now spend more time at work than anywhere else. My vision is a place where employees love their:

  • Work
  • Team
  • Clients
  • Leaders
  • Life

How do we create places and spaces that energise and engage our people in a way that brings work to life like this?

Q) What areas do you think employers should be focused on over the next 12 to 18 months?

A) Strengths ie ‘what will happen when we start focusing on what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them.’

The science tells us that people that focus on their strengths are;

  • Three times more likely to report a high quality of life
  • Six times more likely to be engaged at work
  • More productive and profitable
  • Treat teammates and clients better

Q) How has your organisation been leading on this?

A) Our focus is:

  • Work with doing – Purpose
  • Leaders worth following – Authentic Inspiration
  • A culture worth contributing to – Rituals that energise, connect and empower

As a culture we focus on;

  • Autonomy
  • Recognition
  • Connection
  • Purpose

Our rituals are built around our ‘Great week focus’

  • Quality team sessions
  • Great 1-1s
  • Understanding the people behind the role.