Stress Awareness Month

01 April 2019

Stress Awareness Month

So today launches the first day in Stress Awareness month so we feel it’s a great time to take stock and consider how we can have a positive impact on our team.

Did you know, according to a published report from 2017/2018 the HSE found 15.4 million working days were lost due to work related stress, depression and anxiety which was made up from 595,000 workers. 

That’s approximately just under 26 days per worker.  That is just over one whole month (working days) per worker.  Staggering eh?  Some would have been a lot longer and others would be shorter but whatever the length of the absence the problem isn’t getting any better.

Lives are stressful, work is busy, we’re all juggling, we’re all feeling more and more pressures from work, family, social media even leisure activities and there never seems to be time to take stock.

We all spend a lot of time at work so here are our tips to help to ease pressures in the workplace

Review the workloads:

If you are agreeing overtime on a regular basis, people are staying late or regularly getting in early something isn’t working.  Look at your pipeline, work out how many people you need.  It may mean an increase in headcount and cost but how much is overtime costing you and if your workers burn out that could cost you a lot more.

Implement regular catch ups:

An opportunity to discuss strengths and weaknesses, workloads and also a general personal catch up.  Understanding pressures of individuals and also the personality/life behind the worker will enable you to see problems coming and act proactively to ensure big issues don’t arise down the line. 

Show your gratitude:

As we always say – a little thank you goes a long way.  If I’m working my arse off and I don’t even get a thank you I can assure you I won’t be here for long!  Help to ease the pressures by confirming their efforts are being well received and you are grateful.  Buy the donuts, allow them to leave a little earlier one day – small steps for big results.

Encourage regular breaks:

The nicer weather is upon us (hopefully it’s here to stay!) so encourage your team to leave their desk at lunchtime, go for a walk together, arrange some yoga or just arrange a 10 o’clock catch up at the coffee machine (if you arrange it people are less likely to just do it as a gossip/skive – it’s the rebel in us!).  Building a strong team ethos will reduce the pressures on a day to day basis as individuals will know they are supported – they are not alone.

Implement a culture to talk about it

Mental health is in the news day in day out now but in the workplace it often still seems to be a taboo subject – make it the norm.  Arrange for trainers to come in and deliver key messages about recognising and managing mental health issues as well as improving communication and leadership skills so they can reach out competently at earlier stages.  Implement wellbeing initiatives and/or have a ‘check in’ every morning or afternoon for everyone to say how they’re feeling and if they need any help. 

Remember as one of the well know sayings of today goes ‘it’s ok not to be ok’.  Look out for friends, family and colleagues at all times as well as looking after yourself.  If we do this hopefully less people will feel alone and unable to cope.  Hopefully we’ll see less sick days and we will see productivity increase. 

If you need a hand implementing positive changes in your workplace give us a call.

For the full report on the HSE website please see http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf

#stressawarenessmonth #stress #support #hr