Advertising Week Europe

Advertising Week Europe 2017 Official Guide

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epidemic, costing the UK economy alone £57 billion a year in lost productivity, while The Drum's 2016 Diversity Census indicated that 27% of those in our immediate industry described themselves as 'stressed most of the time'. This is perhaps unsurprising given a 2016 Chartered Management Institute report has shown the majority of UK manag- ers spend 29 extra days every year working outside of office hours—a figure more than cancelling out entire holiday entitlements. DIPPING BENEATH THE SURFACE However, research has clearly shown that every individual manages workplace stress in their own way. For many, the adrenaline-rush and challenge of such situations can positively impact their performance without negatively impacting their personal wellbeing. Yet as employers, leaders and colleagues we have a duty of care—to both ourselves and those around us—to spend as much time understanding and addressing the interplay between mental wellbeing and performance as we have done with the physical science of personal improvement. IT'S TIME TO COURSE CORRECT The UK's Prime Minster, Theresa May, opened 2017 with the public acknowledg- ment that "for too long mental illness has been shrouded in a completely unacceptable stigma and dangerously disregarded as a secondary issue to physical health". While mental illness is at the most severe end of our non-physical wellbeing, the Lighthouse's 2017 New World Talent Survey has shown that—in our immediate sphere —exactly half of leaders feel uncomfort- able talking about anxiety and depression at work. While it's very encouraging to see our sector feeling much more comfortable talking about gender, sexual orientation and race issues at work than managers across "TheWorldHealth Organizationcites stressasthe21st century'sbiggest healthepidemic." all industries, we still languish 20% behind the business-wide figures when it comes to talking about mental health issues. We feel as apprehensive talking about this as we do when discussing disability or religion. The same study has shown that 47% of lead- ers surveyed said that if their business could support them in one area, it would be their mental wellbeing. NAVIGATING NEW HORIZONS Needless to say, the Lighthouse has an in- nate interest in the 'whole self' wellbeing of the leaders we work with—whether that's the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual being—as each of these intertwining ele- ments play a huge part in what makes us all unique and successful. From the thousands of face-to-face interviews we conduct every year—combined with the quantitative re- sults of our annual survey—there is a clear route to ensuring that today's leaders don't get 'Lost at C-Suite'. Firstly, you must have a clear plan for the journey. The most successful will need a fullyarticulatedvisionandincrediblebravery to tackle whatever may lie ahead. Secondly, uncertain times call for a truly authentic style of leadership and captaincy—the kind that keeps you truly connected to your team as you power full steam ahead. Thirdly, to steer the stormiest of seas requires a clear purpose and set of values—these are critical to ensure that everyone is, quite literally, in the same boat. Encompassing all of this is the engine room—you, your colleagues and your team. Keeping all four components of your per- sonal wellbeing in shipshape condition is absolutely essential to propel your business forward from the safety of the harbour. AWE 2017 227

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