With almost half of working days lost to ill-health every year, and stress being a contributing factor to our wellbeing, stress in the workplace is an issue that employers can’t very well ignore.
The increase of remote working may have done away with the daily headache of a daily commute, but it continues to cause a blur in the work/life definition, and also sees many more employees working in total isolation.
As an employer, it pays to be aware of how to recognise stress levels within your team. This means you can tackle them in the best way for both your staff and business.
Why do I need to be aware of stress on my employees?
As an employer, you have a legal duty to look after your employees, and this includes helping them to deal with stress that may arise as a result of their role.
- Stress often leads to people becoming demotivated, which can lead to poor performance.
- Stress can lead to a negative atmosphere in the workplace, which can then affect your wider team.
- There can be a financial implication for your business, caused by staff absence or reduced performance.
How can I recognise stress in my employees?
While stress can manifest itself differently in each person, there are key indicators that may flag the presence of stress in your team which may include:
- A noticeable drop in performance
- Increased absence from work
- Higher than usual staff turnover
- Arguments or personal grievances in the workplace
- Increased emotional reactions, mood swings or becoming withdrawn
What can my business do to tackle stress?
Tackling stress in the workplace should be part of a wider employee wellbeing strategy. There are also key steps that can be taken to help manage the situation.
Regular staff check-ins are hugely important, particularly at the moment when their work environment may be undergoing a period of change. Ensure that your team have the opportunity to speak to their line manager or HR department frequently to raise any concerns.
Think about staff well-being
What does your business offer to promote this? Whether it’s flexible working, a free gym membership or a range of employee perks, it’s important to give your team every opportunity to effectively manage their work-life balance.
Consider carrying out a risk assessment
In the same way that you would implement a health and safety risk assessment, a similar procedure for stress can help your business to identify and mitigate the risks of stress in the workplace.
Further advice and support around stress in the workplace can be found via the Health & Safety Executive website.