One in five people suffer from work-related stress in the UK according to government statistics, which causes increased absenteeism and injuries/accident rates, and decreased productivity and business performance overall.
The definition of stress by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is ‘The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them’.
Charlotte Gallagher, Managing Director of P3 People Management advises “Whereas increased pressure in the short term motivates the completion of a project or meeting a tight deadline, the negative impact in the long term, of stress in the workplace affects an individual’s ability to cope. This can evoke feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression”.
Charlotte adds: “Businesses are required to oversee the health and safety of their employees and can be liable for claims, so it is essential for owners and managers to take a proactive approach towards the mental health and well-being of staff, and to take into account the causes of stress into their management policies”.
Charlotte provided us with some brief advice:
- Guidelines and processes can help address areas such as enabling a work-life balance, addressing working environments that don’t protect the workforce, and ensuring appropriate support and clear communication channels are in place when there are incidents of bullying or harassment, for example.
- As well as controlling uncertainty, hazards and unexpected events, managers can evaluate unrealistic workloads and too much reliance on overtime during regular risk assessments.
- Another source of stress is caused when there is micro-management of workers, which affects self-esteem, efficiency and production levels. Also, if there is poor and ineffectual management, which results in a lack of direction and motivation.
“It’s important to raise awareness throughout the business and implement effective measures to prevent, assess and manage stress – both work related and personal” Charlotte concludes
Working with line managers, HR and occupational health is important to identify the root causes and extent of stress currently within the workplace. Providing support to help manage and care for individuals experiencing stress and their successful return to work is an essential part of the process.
Call P3 People Management on 0161 941 2426 or visit their website at www.p3pm.co.uk if you would like help and advice regarding stress-related illness for your employees and an understanding of the impact it could have on your business.