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Self Care and Leadership

July 24th: International Self-Care Day

Self-Care and Leadership

There are many aspects to what makes a great Leader, and with three decades in the industry, training and developing the Leadership teams of organisations across all flavours of business, we’ve seen the good and the bad many times.

When we consider what good leadership means there are all kinds of interpretations. What does tie every opinion together, however, is the knowledge that leadership is about so much more than overheads, financial targets or sales goals.

Good leaders care about their people, above all else.

Focus on your people – on ensuring that they are thriving in their work, are developing in the direction they want for their career ambitions, and that they feel supported and valued in their role, and your business will thrive under their hand.

July 24th is known as International Self-Care Day – and it’s a day when, whether in business or otherwise, people make efforts to focus on their own wellbeing, and on the all important self-care that contributes to it.

As business leaders it’s absolutely vital that you encourage your team to focus on that self-care, and on nurturing their personal and individual needs, wants and requirements in order to be their healthiest, most content self – and that translates into their performance at work.

Any workplace that pushes their team too hard, puts pressure and stress onto every working day, and expects commitment without an equal reward will see their employees burn out, and have a high staff turnover.

Conversely, if you build, live and breathe a culture where your people matter most, where they are able to meet their needs for self-care and well-being, and where their interests, goals and achievements are celebrated, you will encourage commitment in return, and see excellent staff retention, as well as achieving those all-important targets.

Self-care can look like many things; flexible working hours, so that people can achieve a work-life balance that helps them to be available for family commitments, remote working to reduce stress and fatigue, team building activities and events that allow your team to celebrate their work achievements and build relationships, and access to healthy food and refreshments in the office can all contribute to embedding this culture in your organisation.

For those who are in Management or Leadership roles, who may be looking for ways to better communicate with, support and encourage their teams, we know that Coaching is a powerful tool, which has lasting, significant impact on the way you work, the way you communicate, and the way you lead.

Coaching could be the best tool in your approach to improving workplace well-being

ASK Coaching Programmes are tailored to your specific needs

And the needs of your people…


We take into account the experience, expertise and culture your Leaders have been working within, and the specific goals and ambitions of each individual. We carry out processes like our 360 Assessments, which give a very accurate picture of the strengths of your Leaders, and where the team feel they could improve, and combine all of that information to create a strategic plan for the Coaching process.

Our Coaches then work intensively with your team, individually and as a group, if you feel that it would be beneficial, and we guide you through the process of growth, development and learning. Coaching is powerful, and can have a huge impact on how you perform, and how your team perform under your leadership – and a big part of that is focussed on the well-being and emotional needs of you and your people.

How to bring self-care into your Organisation


There are some easy ways that, as Leaders, you can ensure that your team are building self-care into their working day: here are just a few suggestions – and we would be very happy to speak to you more about our executive Coaching programmes, built around the concept of improving the culture and well-being of your organisation.

Breaks and down time

Burnout is a real danger in many corporate environments; it’s absolutely vital, in order to perform well, that you all take proper breaks from your work. Not only does this improve your physical health, it can also give you some space when you’re working on something especially challenging or stressful, which can give you some clarity and perspective on the problem at hand.

Proper breaks – by which we mean leaving your desk (and ideally the office entirely, getting some time outdoors if you can) rather than hunching over your keyboard with a soggy sandwich – are vital. If you spot team members who aren’t taking appropriate time away from their work stations you should encourage them to take a proper rest, and move around.

For this to work well it’s also important to have a proper break space available to your team; a kitchen for them to prepare food, somewhere comfortable to sit, away from their desk, their screens and their phones, and access to some healthy refreshments are always a bonus.

You should also be sure to monitor their overtime, and make sure that nobody is working too many hours, or responding to work emails late at night when they should be switching off!

Refreshments and nutrition

Though not many organisations provide lunches for their team it can be nice to have that as a perk from time to time – but it’s more important that your team have access to somewhere suitable to eat and drink properly, away from their desks. You should also be sure to provide some of those vital refreshments – a water filter, some tea and coffee, and perhaps a fruit bowl stocked with healthy snacks, will all encourage your team to stay hydrated and eating well.

Again, if you’re in a leadership role, you should be encouraging your team to access those refreshments, stay well hydrated and refreshed, and ensure that they can access things like a fridge, a microwave and a kettle, to store and prepare proper meals at work.

Suitable and healthy work spaces

It’s a legal requirement that people in your organisation can access proper workstation assessments that ensure they are sitting properly, that their screens and desk are all positioned in a way that won’t cause discomfort or injury, and that a proper health and safety review of the office is always up to date, to protect against any potential risks.

You should also remind any team members that the company will (or at least should!) provide additional items that will help with these set-ups – from better, adjustable chairs to screen protectors that reduce eye strain for those working on computers a lot. You might also consider things like standing desks, or additional perks like gym memberships or discounts. Some organisations even bring professional massage therapists in regularly, offering free massages to your employees, which is an excellent bonus for sedentary office workers.

Delegate and work together

Some leaders or managers tend to stride around their offices dishing out orders and commands, and putting huge stress and pressure onto their employees; this is never going to work out well in the long-term, and will see your staff turnover increase.

To protect your team, and keep them where you want them, it’s important that you are always checking in that people are able to maintain their workload, to share tasks among the team equally, and to delegate some tasks if someone is feeling overwhelmed.

Be sure to let your team know that you’re a safe place to come when they do feel like they’re smothered in work – listen to their needs and concerns, and help them to identify what tasks can be shared with colleagues where appropriate. This kind of culture will support their well-being, and help you to get a more accurate measure of what people can (or can’t) cope with, so that you’re able to plan your projects strategically, and identify if and when you need to recruit more people to keep things moving.

Be sociable and build relationships

With most of us spending up to 70% of our weekdays in the workplace it’s not uncommon for people to make lifelong friendships, or even romantic relationships, with colleagues – but some workplaces actively discourage that!

It’s natural that people want to work with those they get along with, but if your office culture is focused entirely on ‘heads down, work work work’ people won’t have the opportunity to build those relationships with each other.

Factor into your working day plenty of opportunities for people to chat, to make conversations about things other than work, to build friendships and connections with each other, and to get to know each other as more than simply desk neighbours. You can also plan fun events, days out, activities and trips for your team – far more than just one Christmas party – that help to build those bonds and secure relationships in the team.

This not only helps people to be happier in their work, it also gives you more opportunities to learn about the people in each team, and what other experiences, skills, hobbies or interests they might have that could be helpful to the organisation – or just in building better, happier teams.

Invest in their development

On top of all these small, simple steps that will help people to be healthier and happier at work, it’s the responsibility of any good leader to support the professional and personal development of every employee.

This means listening to what they want and need, as well as offering L&D opportunities that will help them to grow, develop their professional skills, and progress in their careers. Stagnation is the enemy of professional success, so focus on the L&D strategy in your organisation, to protect against losing your best talent.

We already spoke about the importance of Executive Coaching – and that’s just one of the programmes we offer; you can explore our programmes  or get in touch with the ASK office today to speak to one of our team about your development needs, and how we can help you to turn your aspirations into reality through learning in the workplace.

Find out more about our Executive Coaching programmes, and download the full brochure, by hitting the button below – or call us on 01234 757574

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