Home Articles C-Suite executives’ guide to facing mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic

C-Suite executives’ guide to facing mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic


With organisations working remotely, it is hard for executives to feel connected to their teams; out of sight, out of mind.

Responsibility for many staff, but lack of insight into what the staff are doing creates difficulty for executives to feel good about their role as motivators and managers.

The stress and anxiety about lack of oversight is only natural.

However, with remote working, this mental strain can go unnoticed and our leaders are at risk of withdrawing or experiencing greater mental health issues. 

Here are a few strategies executives can implement themselves to manage their mental well being

Identify the root cause

There is an underlying reason for your anxiety. You might think you’re anxious because you’re just having a rough day, but it’s often caused by a specific thing.

It might be because you haven’t reached out to any customers today or your team about an important project. Identify that reason first.

Do a gap analysis

The workplace is different now so it can be helpful to do a gap analysis between what you used to do and what you can do with technology now to help better serve your purpose.

For example, if you’re struggling with virtual collaboration for strategy sessions, look at new ways you can facilitate collaboration and bring greater visibility into what you’re doing. Understand the gaps so you can fill them. 

Find structure

Structure is critical for both work and home, and by building structure with more touch points with staff and management groups, you can achieve greater visibility. Take a more stringent approach to processes and procedures. What gets measured, gets done. 

Manageable milestones and tactics

As leaders, we often talk in strategies, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed it’s time to take action and prioritise tactics. Tactics are what help us achieve strategy and measure success. Implement them to help you regain control of your deliverables.

Break down goals into manageable chunks that give you the opportunity to evaluate more regularly. Do a quarterly evaluation and organise specific meetings to discuss deliverables with your team. Create more lines of sight where tracking goals is feasible. 

Connect with your team

When in the office, management feels in control because they can see the immediate impact they have on culture. But when you’re working remotely, you can’t bring people together at the water cooler and work collaboratively.

Instead, you have to be strategic about it. Think about the culture you want to drive with your team and implement the tactics to build this environment

Above all, reach out to your peers if you need support

If you feel you can’t cope and need help immediately, schedule time with a psychologist or call a helpline like Beyond Blue. A lot of the time, leaders are expected to look after the well being of their teams, but don’t have anyone checking in with them.

Just as much as we need tools for our employees, we need to think of well being strategies for our leaders.

As a Corporate Psychologist, Rudy has worked extensively with businesses to improve their people systems and organisational cultures. Passionate about people and how they engage with work, Rudy saw that companies needed the next generation of HR technology to tackle employee and employer challenges. This led to the creation and co-founding of Compono. A powerful work platform that delivers intelligent software systems for employee engagement and talent optimisation across 3 key HR pillars – talent acquisition, talent retention, and talent development

Rudy Crous
Rudy Crous Corporate psychologist and co-founder of Compono.