Boss's Healthy Worries Many Workers
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Amid the widespread stress in the workplace, many workers have had cause to worry about their boss’s health, according to a nationwide telephone survey of more than 500 employed Americans by management consultants Healthy Companies International. Seventeen percent reported that they were at least somewhat worried about the health of their boss during the past year, and 4% said they were “very worried.”
“Everyone’s health is essential to top performance, including the boss’s,” said Stephen Parker, President of Healthy Companies International. “For the entire organization to function well no one’s physical or emotional fitness may be ignored. Our research in this area tells us that executive health is directly linked to performance.”
With all that companies have to deal with – a fast-changing competitive environment, aggressive sales targets or maybe a shaky business strategy - it’s disturbing to learn that employees also have to worry about their superior’s health,” said Parker. “Of course, our survey asks just about employee perceptions, but my instinct would be to trust what they see and think.”
“Four percent of our respondents indicated they were very worried,” noted Parker. “Might this mean that health issues will interfere with getting the best job done or perhaps loss of a key person at a critical time? It’s a question worth posing given our findings.”
According to Parker, senior managers and above habitually neglect their own needs or feelings by submerging them in the shared business mission. “They might stifle their stress, or ignore more serious challenges such as their weight or blood pressure at the very time they express interest in the well-being of those they employ or supervise. They may be convinced it’s a justifiable sacrifice for the greater good, but it’s not. There are real consequences if left unchecked.”
“Many top executives ignore their own health because they get consumed in the sheer activity involved in stressful jobs,” added Parker. “They pay no attention to health issues because they think it’s all for the greater good. Frequently they take too narrow a view of both who they are and what is needed for good health. And they overlook the possibilities of building a more firm foundation for their performance.”
“In increasingly stressful times,” Parker advised, “it’s essential to develop a life and work plan that optimizes health, manages stress and balances work, family and personal life. Only in this way may one develop the resilience necessary to bounce back from setbacks and adversity.”
Men were somewhat more likely than women (by 20% v. 15%) to express concern for their boss’s health as were employees earning $25,000 or less (23%) as well as those who have a college degree or greater.
The poll of 509 workers was conducted May 16-20, 2012 by International Communications Research, Media, PA, on behalf of Healthy Companies International.