Work stress isn’t just an issue for employees at entry and mid-level positions in a company. Despite the perks of leadership, executives shoulder enormous responsibilities and expectations in their jobs. Yet because of their leadership positions, they may be reluctant to admit when they feel mental fatigue or stress; and ultimately concerned about showing perceived weakness to co-workers, employees, their own managers, customers, or other stakeholders.
Stress doesn’t just come from the work environment. Family situations, such as an aging parent, a divorce, or a sick child, are concerns that only amplify stress and the sense of needing to bear it all alone.
It is nearly impossible to compartmentalize stress from different parts of your life, and the spillover can lead to health issues as well as career issues. That is why R3 Continuum offers customized executive concierge services—discreet, expert support for your high-profile leaders.
Help for those most reluctant to seek it
Adam turned his phone face down on the conference table and glanced around the room. All eyes were on him and he could tell the executive team was expecting an answer. But he hadn’t heard the question.
“The meeting to finalize the merger—do we have everything we need?” Joanne, the CEO said, and it was obvious from her tone, this was not the first time she’d asked the question.
Adam shook off the thoughts from the text message he’d just received and talked the team through the upcoming steps for the merger that was scheduled in two weeks. As the group emptied the conference room twenty minutes later, Adam gathered his laptop and phone, anxious to head back to his office.
“A moment, Adam?” Joanne’s voice stopped him before he reached the door. “Is everything all right? You seemed distracted today.” She thought about it. “Actually, you’ve seemed distracted for a while now. Is anything going on?”
Adam studied Joanne’s face for a moment. She was a good leader—strong, but firm. She genuinely cared about her employees and if he told her all he was dealing with, she’d be supportive. But others might not be. Although his company wasn’t known to be cutthroat, there was an element of competition, and if anyone sensed he was off his game, there might be a little background politics that could take place.
Plus, Adam didn’t want the stigma of his family problems to shadow him for the rest of his career. “That’s the guy whose son went missing.” “That’s the guy whose teenage son turned out to be a meth addict.” A meth addict. How did that even happen? Trent grew up with parents who were fairly happily married. He went to good schools. Lived in a good neighborhood. Had what he wanted without being overly spoiled. And yet. Adam’s wife’s text just confirmed that Trent had escaped rehab again but hadn’t come home.
Torn between anger, fear, and helplessness, Adam just stared at Joanne for a moment. “Everything is fine. We’re all set for the merger. We’re good,” he said. Joanne just looked at him. Hearing his own voice, he wouldn’t have been convinced either, he thought, as he ducked out of the conference room.
Back at his desk, he rubbed his eyes. This was getting bad. He jumped with every text message or phone call, worried it was the worst news possible. The last time Trent came home from rehab, he relapsed within days. Adam had driven around all night, trying to find his baby boy finally finding him behind the garage, unconscious.
Adam couldn’t sleep more than a few hours at night anymore and knew he was slipping at work. He couldn’t concentrate and right now was a critical time of growth for his company. Six months ago, he’d been excited to be in charge of the financial aspects of the merger. But now, he felt he was barely holding on. Was he doing the company a disservice by not passing on this project? But if he gave up this opportunity, it would be a black mark on his career.
Ensuring your critical team members are supported
Helping a member of your team recognize they need support isn’t always easy. Accepting help may be even less so. We make it easier on both accounts with ongoing and ad-hoc professional and personal support for executives, through a variety of offerings to fit specific needs.
Our suite of services includes:
- Customized implementation—based on a variety of models available, we can create materials, training, and a program implementation plan reflecting your company and culture.
- Leadership consultation—this initial leadership consultation provides an orientation to all of the available program services and support to help your leaders increase their resiliency, while knowing they have trustworthy resources outside of the organization. Additionally, we help with psychoeducation and provide leaders with resources they need to recognize when and if their team members also need support, and how to handle the unique issues that arise on their teams as well.
- Disruptive event response—a disruptive event affects all employees, yet in helping their employees recover, leaders don’t always get the chance to reflect on the impact the event has had on them. Our consultants deliver a customized on-site response focused on helping leaders remain resilient and recover, so that they can help effectively lead their organization and people through it.
- Virtual Panel Access—R3 consultants are available on-call for executives, either by phone, in person, or virtually through a secure web portal.
- Consultation and referral—we can refer executives to highly qualified resources for additional support.
- Fitness for Duty evaluations—R3 offers specialized examinations to help determine if a leader can safely perform the essential functions of the position.
- Special Events Support—R3 provides counselors on-site for large events that feature leaders in a variety of roles.
Supporting the employee; supporting the company
“Adam?” Joanne stood in the doorway of Adam’s office.
“I’ll have those new numbers to you in ten minutes,” he said, hoping to forestall another conversation.
Joanne smiled knowingly as she walked over and sat down in the chair across from Adam’s desk. “You know how highly I think of you, right?”
Adam nodded, but his stomach dropped, as he waited for the “but…”
“I’m concerned about you,” Joanne continued.
“I told you, I’m fine. I may have some family issues going on, but I’m handling them,” Adam said irritably.
Joanne arched an eyebrow. “Are you? I know you may not want to talk with me about what’s going on, but I wanted to give you this,” she handed him a business card.
“R3 Continuum? Counseling? Joanne, really,” he began.
Joanne put up a hand to halt his words. “You remember that I got divorced a few years ago?” she said.
“Yeah, about two years ago, right?” Adam asked, puzzled at the change of topic.
“Two years, 3 months, and 14 days. But who’s counting?” Joanne said. “The thing is, what I didn’t say at the time, because, after all, I’m the CEO, and felt I could never admit this, was that my marriage was very traumatic from the beginning. It was horrible, and the divorce was no better. My ex was mean, vindictive—and that was even before the attorneys got involved.”
“Joanne—I’m so sorry! I had no idea!”
Joanne waved off his sympathies. “You weren’t supposed to. But I also realized I couldn’t deal with the attorney meetings, my kids, my ex’s demands and harassing texts—all of that crushing stress, guilt, anger, and sadness, and still perform in my job. Not without some support.
“I have a mentor who suggested I contact R3, and I did. They didn’t make me feel like, well you’re an executive—you should be able to handle this. They really listened and helped me clarify my most pressing concerns and put me in touch with some excellent resources—including a better lawyer, a counselor to help me work through my own issues, and even an excellent counselor my kids went to for a time. They literally helped me make it through that dark time. And until now, I never told anyone at the company about this.”
Joanne paused. “I now recognize when someone else is going through a dark time. And I want you to have the support you need—both personally and professionally. I won’t lie: this merger is critical, and I need you to be on your “A” game. But more importantly, I need you to be here, healthy, and mentally sharp for mergers to come. Give them a call!”
Adam thought about what Joanne said. What a relief it would be to unburden with someone who could maybe, just maybe, help him see more clearly. Maybe he might get some relief from the constant band of tension in his head and neck. Maybe R3 had some ideas for him, and he wouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for help. He shook his head in bemusement. “I really had no idea you were going through such a bad time,” he said.
“That’s the idea of getting behind the scenes support,” Joanne responded.
Keeping your executives resilient and healthy
Everyone needs extra support occasionally. Ensuring the critical members of your leadership team have the resources they need to help them thrive personally and professionally can have far reaching impact on the business. Understand, recognize, and meet this need through our trusted, expert, and discreet services.
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Comprehensive workplace violence preparedness strategies to help you and your organization plan for, respond to, and recover from a range of workplace violence incidents.
Threat of Violence Consultation
Timely consultations that help to determine if an employee poses a threat, aiding in your ability to safely and effectively decrease the likelihood of a violent act occurring.
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Strategic Crisis Leadership
Empirically-researched and field-tested methods that help organizational leaders protect reputation and other core assets during high-consequence crisis situations.