How to deal with executive stress

How to deal with executive stress

Executive Grapevine
Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd


When we think of stress, we tend to think of it as a problem for lower-level employees.

But what about executive stress? The recent suicide of former Zurich CEO Martin Senn has shed light on the issue of mental health, and in particular the mental health of our business leaders.

Dr Thomas Heinsius, Head Doctor at Winterthur’s Policlinic for integrated psychiatry, explained the issue in a recent article for the Financial Times. He wrote: “If you are high in a hierarchy and have a dominant psychology, and you define your life and values as such, it can be very damaging for your psychological wellbeing if you lose your position.

“You become depressed if your psychological repertoire is not sufficiently equipped to deal with the new challenge.”

Recently, Executive Grapevine spoke to Robert Stone, Head of Talent at McCann Group, who gave his suggestions on how best to deal with issues surrounding mental health in the workplace.

“Businesses turn a blind eye rather than facing this issue,” he explained. “We are now all faced with a working culture that expects things to be done yesterday. Technology has caused this with emails, which means employees are no longer turning off. You need to evolve as an employer in creating a modern environment.

“The first place to start is [by] creating a working environment that is suitable to the individual rather than the whole. This can be as easy as flexible working hours, hot-desking, flexitime, overtime and additional holidays, individual investment in training and development.

“As an HR function you also need to get closer to the business. If you’re a true partner you will build trust with all employees and your will become the ear of the agency.”