Our Health Economist analysed a random sample of 500 executives, like yourself, who undertook an Executive Health assessment with Ford Health. These executives are at senior manager level or above, and come from diverse national and multinational businesses across Australia. The businesses represented include professional services, mining, resource and energy; construction and engineering; agribusiness and technology sectors.
We analysed data on work hours, self-rated work performance scores, self-reported stress as well as objective stress, anxiety and depression scores. This provided a snapshot of what impacts upon work performance at an individual level in corporate
Australia, during a time when many are under pressure to produce more with less.
A big standout was the correlation between clinically significant stress, anxiety or depression and low self-rating of work performance.
Correlation between Psychological Wellbeing and Work
‘Clinically significant’ in our case, means that an individual subjectively felt that they were highly stressed to the extent that they had not been coping as well as usual and who also had elevated scores on the objective psychological wellbeing assessment scale (DASS 21).
Experiencing stressors and feeling ‘stressed’ can help with motivation and focus, but when stress is out of proportion to the stressor and/or it is prolonged or overwhelming, then action is needed. Same for depression and anxiety – feeling a bit flat or worried from time to time is normal, but deepening or persistence of these feelings will have an adverse effect on your work performance. Not surprisingly, it will also effect on your life outside of work.
Seeking assistance when stress, anxiety or depression is starting to take over makes sense; it is no different to taking the car to the mechanic when the oil is leaking.
“There are a number of different avenues available for assistance which can include your local doctor, the Employee Assistance Programme in your workplace or a private psychologist.”
Executives coaches and mentors can be useful ‘add-ons’. Research has also shown that online counselling services (such as ‘e-therapy’) can be as effective as face to face counselling in some circumstances. It also has the advantage to be accessed
from any location and at a time that suits you.
In addition, simple activities like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, maintaining contact with friends and having a hobby are all part of the foundation of good psychological self-care.
See MoodGym, This Way Up or Mindspot Clinic. Additionally, Beyond Blue and MindBodyConnect are both reputable and reliable sources of information – the latter also having links to various apps that can assist in monitoring and improving psychological wellbeing.