Healthy Boards = Healthier Organizations

In 2021 James Packer, Australian billionaire, resigned from 24 boards due to mental health issues. His resignation from so many boards was seen as a symbolic move as he was known for maintaining a high level of involvement in all of his business ventures. 

Packer acknowledged via his spokesperson that he had been struggling with mental health issues and needed time away from his business commitments to focus on recovery. It was a pivotal step forward in raising awareness about mental health in the business community. Many people praised Packer's decision to prioritize his health.

Healthy Boards = Healthier Organizations
Executive board members

Executive board members struggle with the challenges of keeping the company at the forefront, while meeting the demands of stakeholders. They are responsible for corporate governance, strategy formulation, and accountability for the company.

Board members are required to make decisions with an overwhelming amount of information, and complexity of tasks. They are under constant pressure to provide excellent leadership for the organization, which can be mentally exhausting.

Working in stressful environments often results in board members being more susceptible to mental health issues. In some cases, they may also feel compelled to hide their stress in fear of losing credibility, which in turn can have a negative effect on the organization as a whole.

Canadian Mental Health Association says mental and physical health are fundamentally linked. There are multiple associations between mental health and chronic physical conditions that significantly impact people’s quality of life, demands on health care and other publicly funded services, and generate consequences to society.

World Health Organization (WHO) says, “there is no health without mental health.” CMHA

Mental Health in the Boardroom

Mental health in the boardroom is an increasingly important topic, and there is growing recognition of the impact it can have on business performance and productivity. Corporate decision-making directly affects employees, customers, and other stakeholders. It is imperative that mental health is given appropriate attention and consideration at this level.

When was the last time your board members had a mental health day? Does your board promote health and wellness to employees and contractors? It's never too late to start. 

Commitment From Leadership

Addressing mental health in the boardroom requires a commitment from leadership to prioritize the well-being of employees and contractors—and to recognize the key role that mental health plays in creating a healthy and productive workplace.

There are several reasons why health and well-being are becoming increasingly important in the boardroom.

Research says healthier happier employees are more productive, engaged, and creative—which can have a positive impact on the organization's bottom line! 

One study found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. When it comes to salespeople, happiness has an even greater impact, raising sales by 37%. But the benefits do not end there. Happy employees are also good news for organizations: The stock prices of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for" rose 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, while companies not on the list only reported a 6% increase. Forbes

One way mental health can be addressed in the boardroom is through the development and implementation of mental health policies and initiatives:

  • Promoting work-life balance.
  • Openly discussing mental health issues.
  • Taking steps to manage your own mental health—leading by example.
  • Offering mental health resources and support.
  • Promoting a culture of openness and support within your organization.
  • Providing training to managers and employees to help them identify and address mental health issues.
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Organizations have a responsibility to promote the well-being of their employees and contractors—and the communities in which they operate.

A few ways to promote health and well-being throughout your organization:

  • Incorporating health and well-being metrics into performance evaluations and compensation packages for executives.
  • Offering wellness programs and resources to employees, such as on-site fitness classes, health coaching, and mental health support.
  • Creating a positive workplace culture that prioritizes work-life balance, employee recognition, and open communication.
  • Implementing policies and practices that support diversity, equity, and inclusion—including physical and mental disabilities, anti-discrimination policies, and training programs.
  • By prioritizing health and well-being in the boardroom, companies can create a more positive and productive workplace culture, improve employee engagement and retention, and contribute to the overall well-being of their communities.
  • Setting an example by putting health and well-being at the heart of everything your organization does—everyone wins!
  • Stock your boardroom (and lunchroom) with healthy antioxidant beverages that are proven to help reduce oxidative stress—and more!

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