Stress awareness month has been held in April since 1992 raising awareness of what causes and what cures there are for our increasing modern day stress epidemic
Stress is something that everyone feels at times, especially when dealing with change or life challenges such as money worries, work issues or relationship problems. A little stress can be a good thing as it helps us to get things done or focus on something that needs our attention.
- Some ways to reduce stress
- Get enough sleep
- Organise your day
- Stay active
- Take a vacation
- Encourage social activity
Stress within the workplace
Stress is still one of the main causes of short and long-term absence in the workplace. A total of 17 million working days were lost in 2021/2022 due to employees’ absence due to stress. If left untreated it can lead to more serious mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Stress can affect the workplace in a variety of ways, these are some of the signs to look out for from your employees
- Increased absence levels
If an employee is taking more time off than normal or failing to turn up to work they might have work-related stress
An employee may show signs of this if
- They are unenthusiastic about work
- They arrive late/ leave early
- They stop contributing at meetings
- They isolate themselves from others
- They show no interest in progressing their career
- Emotional reactions
They may react in an opposite way and become over-emotional and tearful at work. Stress can put people under emotional and mental pressure leading to employees being sad, angry and anxious.
If you notice employees being snappy or upset with their colleagues that they might have work-related stress
- Work not being completed to a high standard
Employees under a lot of stress may start to show it in their work. Targets may not be met, mistakes might be increasingly made. This is an outcome of someone who is struggling to manage their workload or lacking in self-confidence.
If they don’t feel confident to talk about it, it could have a negative effect on the rest of their team.
- High staff turnover
Employees could resign from their job especially if they are feeling stressed at home
If signs are spotted early it can help in reducing these high levels employers should therefore think about putting some processes in place to ensure the smooth running of your business, examples are:
- Introducing a stress management policy will raise awareness about the organisation’s commitment and approach to managing stress
- Develop a supportive work culture to encourage staff to discuss and seek support when experiencing stress
- Provide and offer support in terms of counseling, employee assistance programmes and charities
- Develop people management skills and confidence of managers to have sensitive conversations with their staff