According to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), in 2018/19 over 600,000 people in the UK reported experiencing work-related stress, depression or anxiety. This means 44% of all work-related illness.
Therefore, it is important that employers take steps to tackle and reduce the work-related causes of stress, and encourage their staff to seek help at the earliest opportunity if they begin to experience stress.
What is the benefit to the business?
Reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to an employer, not only by making staff healthier and happier at work, but ultimately improving performance and making staff more productive, which will lead to reduced absenteeism, reduced workplace disputes and thus making the organisation more attractive to potential new employees.
So how does stress become out of control and have huge negative affects on us mentally and physically?
Stress is normal and actually mild stress (let’s call this pressure) is healthy, as it motivates us and drives us to succeed. Also stress like exercise (done correctly and in moderation) had a huge benefit on us both mentally and physically.
But, the problems start, when stress becomes relentless.
When work ‘pressures’ become too much, staff can become overloaded. Stress can then affect their health, which in turn can reduce their productivity and lead to performance issues and time off work if it gets extreme.
I believe this is more important now than ever, with the huge stress of Covid 19 and the added pressures of working from home.
What is Stress?
Stress isn’t always emotional, so many people may not recognise that they are stressed.
Stress can be from everyday life events
- Rushing around
- Family worries
- Deadlines at work
- Financial difficulties
Not to mention the added stressors that occur for us all from time to time, like
- Family / friend feuds
Just to name a few.
So, as you can see, most of our lives have stress, just from being busy, ambitious people striving for a full, successful, rich life.
Unfortunately, the impact all of this stress has on us, builds up, until the mind and body cannot take any more and start to fight back, for some people it can result in:
- Brain fog
- Poor concentration
- Reduced productivity
- Poor range of movement
- Loss of hair
- Skin problems
- Gut issues
And lots more!
Primary causes of stress in the workplace
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has identified the six primary causes of work-related stress to be:
Demands of the job – very often, staff become overloaded with work and feel they cannot cope with that workload, or the type of work they have been given.
Autonomy – staff can very often feel devalued, when constantly micromanaged, which ultimately can result in poor performance and lack of enthusiasm within their job role.
Support – Poor management and lack of support from fellow staff means that levels of stress related sickness absence often rise if staff feel they cannot talk to managers about issues troubling them, or have no support from fellow employees.
Relationships at work – a failure to build relationships based on good behaviour and trust can lead to problems related to discipline, grievances and bullying
Full understanding of a role – staff can feel a lack of confidence and even anxious about their work and the organisation if they don’t know what is expected of them and have a clear path to succeed in that role.
Change – change needs to be managed effectively or it can lead to huge uncertainty and insecurity amongst staff.
Every employer should care about their staff’s well-being. Providing a supportive, caring environment, that will be more likely to maintain high quality personnel long term.
Do you have a stress management, well-being package in place to support your staff, before they get to the ‘burn out’ stage or even worse, depression and anxiety?
There is so much to learn about stress, the affect it has on the body and mind, how we can identify, manage and reduce it to improve our workforce for the better and ultimately encourage them to lead fitter, happier, healthier, more successful lives.
Workplace Well-being Programmes
If the well-being of your staff and ultimately the well-being of your business is high on your agenda for 2021, then I can help.
Lifeshaper’s Health, Happy People workplace well-being programme has a huge array of workshops, programmes and 121 coaching sessions available to help you support your staff well-being.
For more information contact Emma Jay