“When you take on the role of leadership, it comes with responsibility. And it’s not just a responsibility to deliver business outcomes, but it’s a responsibility to look after the people in your care. And so, this notion of duty of care is something that I take on literally.” – Darren Black
- The importance of caring in the workplace
- A caring and high performing workplace
- The role of managers
The following article is based on our interview with Darren Black, CEO of SuperFriend and an innovative and pragmatic leader who strives every day to create a culture of care.
Darren sits on the Board of Suicide Prevention Australia and The Australian Men’s Health Forum. Darren is passionate about improving mental health and suicide prevention. (You can check out the full podcast here on The Caring CEO podcast episode #55.)
Caring in the workplace
Darren has a fascinating background as an Army officer where he learned to prioritise the wellbeing of others, especially his fellow soldiers. This mindset of caring for people in challenging and potentially dangerous situations was deeply instilled in him. As a result, when it comes to his role as a leader in the workplace, Darren sees caring for his team as second nature. It’s not just about achieving business goals, but also about taking responsibility for the wellbeing of those under his care. This sense of duty and responsibility is something that Darren takes very seriously.
The balance between a caring workplace and a high performing workplace
Darren works for an organisation that places a strong emphasis on research, data, and insights. They have found that when employees feel happier, valued, and supported in their work, they tend to contribute more effectively to the organisation’s overall performance. Darren believes that there’s a mutual benefit in treating people with care, respect, and diligence. This includes providing a positive work environment, clear guidance, defined roles, and the necessary support and resources for employees to excel in their work. By ensuring that individuals feel aligned and empowered to apply their skills and experiences in a way that benefits the organisation, the evidence suggests that productivity and performance will improve across the entire business. In Darren’s experience, prioritising the wellbeing of employees and fostering a positive organisational culture leads to enhanced business performance. We would add to this (and think Darren would agree) that there is much research to show that with high performance in these cultures also comes less psychosocial health and safety issues. #winwin
Do managers play an essential role? Ummm, yes!
Darren believes that leadership has always played a crucial role in the success of any enterprise or organisation. He is discovering that the strength and quality of leadership within teams and organisations can determine their ultimate success or failure. Therefore, it’s important for us to be aware, especially from a governance and board perspective, of the need to support our leaders. This means providing them with the necessary resources and tools to effectively manage and thrive in their roles.
Annecdotally, at a recent Comcare psychosocial health and safety forum our team attended, when 750 attendees were asked to add to a word cloud on what would help their organisations the most in terms of pschosocial health and safety, mental health etc, the largest word that appeared in the live word cloud, from hundreds of immediate responses, was MANAGER. It was attached to a lot of phrases coming through like mental health training for managers, tools for managers, support for managers. So do managers play an essential role? Ummm yes! (And we need to support them.)
You may be interested in our WeCARE Manager training to build mentally healthy teams: https://wecare365.com.au/wecare-manager/
To learn more about WeCARE365 and The Caring CEO, visit us here: https://wecare365.com.au/
We create simple skill-building programs that help managers lead mentally healthy teams. We believe that the #1 priority for every leader and team is to be more caring and mentally healthy and to enjoy growing together. In the very best teams, people care about each other, have each other’s backs, and enjoy each other’s company. We know the best learning solutions are those that ‘everybody gets’, which are easy to roll out, promote, and provide ongoing practical support. If you would like to see a demo, please book here.