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Leaders Feel Isolated Too. 8 Tips for Tackling Loneliness at the Top

Leaders Feel Isolated Too. 8 Tips for Tackling Loneliness at the Top

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Last edited May 8, 2023

Leaders Feel Isolated Too. 8 Tips for Tackling Loneliness at the Top

With most of us spending an average of over 90,000 hours at work in our lifetime it is no wonder that a poor work environment can affect our mental health. Work-related mental ill-health is estimated to be costing businesses up to £26 billion every year, so we need to make sure we take care of our employees’ mental health.Whether you run your recruitment agency by yourself or you have several employees, a feeling of isolation can quickly take over. With research from TotalJobs (2018) finding that three in five employees feel lonely at work, it’s certainly a common issue.

As responsibility increases in the workplace, so too can the feeling of isolation, as more business-critical decisions depend upon your time and you find yourself working away from your team more frequently.

In addition to this feeling of loneliness, it becomes easier to find yourself isolated from the wider recruitment industry itself. As your time becomes more precious and you’re concerned with the internal day to day management of your business, you might not be aware of the feeling of isolation immediately.

Loneliness in the workplace can lead to employees either quitting their jobs or taking many more days off. As a result, ‘surviving in silence’ can have an overwhelmingly negative impact on your business.

This problem becomes exacerbated if you are leading a business independently, or you run a small recruitment agency, where you’re far more likely to find yourself more separated from the industry.

If you’re feeling isolated and attempting to grow your business without industry guidance, it can become even more problematic. Without peer to peer advice or a mentor, it’s difficult to know that the decisions you’re taking are right for your business.

1. Attend Events or Host your Own:

An easy way to improve your connection to the industry and combat the feeling of isolation is to attend industry events. Whilst a lot of these can be costly as well as time-consuming, try to find events which are fairly local to you or consider joining webinars that are relevant to your business.

Also, the more events that you attend, the better your industry knowledge will be and the more you can contribute to online discussions. It’s important that you don’t attend events for the sake of it. To get the most out of them, make notes, make new connections and share your experiences on social media.

If you’re struggling to find a relevant event near you, consider whether you could host something yourself. Whether this is a local meeting for like-minded professionals or a roundtable event on a specific subject, it’s a good way to develop your connections and business opportunities.

2. Stay Up to Date with the Latest Industry News:

Another way to improve how connected you are to the recruitment industry is by following the latest industry news. Once you’re more involved with this, you’ll be able to discuss these issues more widely on your social media platforms as well as get some blog topic ideas. Some good resources for this include:

3. Post in Industry Forums:

If you’re looking for some tangible industry advice, it’s worth posting in an industry forum. Whilst LinkedIn can be a good way to connect to people, posting on an international forum can help you to receive more varied advice, as LinkedIn largely depends upon your existing network. However, the more effort that you put into networking on social media, the more likely you’ll be able to ask questions and receive feedback.

TRN World features an industry forum where recruitment leaders can receive advice as well as network with peers:

4. Utilise Social Media:

Staying connected to the industry is much easier if you interact with peers online. One way of doing this is to focus on your LinkedIn/Twitter profile and follow industry-leaders, comment, and share interesting articles & information. If you’re not comfortable with writing a blog, it’s easy to share someone else’s and offer your thoughts on it. The more you engage with your industry peers, the better connected you will be. However, make sure that you get the right balance for this, as too much time on this can be distracting you from your original objective.

5. Join a Network:

By joining an industry network, you can instantly gain access to like-minded peers. Not only will this help to solve your feeling of isolation in your business, but it also provides unrivalled opportunities for you to seek quality business advice. As a result, you’re far more likely to grow and develop meaningful connections if you belong to a network. Ranging from events to online support, a network can be a great way to receive expert advice and build meaningful industry connections.

6. Find a Mentor:

If you’ve joined a network such as TRN, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find an industry mentor who can help you with your biggest business challenges. From getting advice from peers to receiving tangible business advice from experts in running recruitment businesses, a mentor is one way you can easily improve how isolated you feel within your business.

If you’re a female business leader and would like a mentor, have a look at the TRN Mentoring programme which aims to promote females in the recruitment industry (plus, you don’t have to be a member of the club to join).

7. Take Time Out of the Office:

If you run a recruitment agency that has at least a few employees, then it’s a good idea to suggest taking time out of the office. Find out from your staff what type of events they would like to do outside of work and schedule one in for a suitable time. Whilst this doesn’t have to cost much money, it should always come from your team. This can help you to take some time away from your work as well as give an opportunity for your team to build friendships outside of the office.

8. Change your Business Development Meetings

If you’re used to conducting business development meetings online, over the phone or in your office, try switching this and conducting them somewhere outside of an office environment. This is a great way for you to build an even stronger relationship with clients as well as giving you some time away from your usual surroundings.

Providing that you conduct these at a reasonable time and don’t spend too much time travelling between the meeting and your office, conducting your business meeting outside of the office can be really effective.

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