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Are your employees stressed?

Posted in Employers, Workplace Wellbeing on Dec 09, 2019 by Keeley Edge

Stress-related absences are becoming increasingly prevalent in all industries, and although many organisations are putting measures in place to address this, there is still a long way to go.

In this post, we look at some of the things employers can do to manage workplace stress more effectively.

Make it easier for employees to access support

Two of the most common causes of workplace stress are heavy workloads and poor management, but it can be difficult for employees to admit when they are struggling. 

Research has shown that employees hide stress and mental illness because they are concerned it will harm their career, or that their professionalism or capabilities will be in question. The best thing companies can do for their employees is to create a culture where employees feel able to seek support.

It can be helpful to have an impartial person for employees to speak to when they are feeling overwhelmed as they may not always feel comfortable speaking to their line manager. This could be a dedicated mental health first aider (MHFA) or an external specialist such as a life coach.

Be aware of the physical and behavioural signs

We can all have stressful days in the workplace, but when someone is suffering ongoing stress, it can lead to more serious problems such as anxiety, depression and physical illness.

In our article ‘workplace stress and anxiety: what to look out for’, we outline some of the physical and behavioural signs that may indicate that an employee is struggling.

Educate employees to reduce financial stress

Workplace stress can be exacerbated by external stress, and one of the biggest external worries is money. Research has shown that 36% of UK employees feel financially stressed. This can have a huge impact on their wellbeing and their performance at work.

It is easy to assume that financial stress is caused by low pay, but this isn’t always the case. Those on higher salaries are just as likely to have financial worries because financial stress is often caused by an inability to stick to a budget.

Many people run out of money before payday and depend on short-term loans, credit cards or overdrafts to cover the deficit. Those who find it difficult to budget or save can be hit especially hard if they have a change in financial circumstances – reduced hours, unplanned career break, maternity, paternity or sickness etc.

Companies can help reduce financial stress by providing some education around money management. This could involve bringing in external speakers to run information sessions or providing access to independent financial advisers who can help employees make better decisions.

Improve physical wellbeing

It’s no secret that our physical health can affect our mental health and vice versa.

Promoting healthy living in the workplace can help reduce workplace stress and anxiety. Even taking simple steps such as offering subsidised gym passes, fruit instead of biscuits or lunchtime walking clubs can make huge differences to workplace wellbeing.

Our article ‘10 ways to support healthy living in the workplace’, offers more ideas for how you can help employees improve their physical wellbeing.

Invest in your employees and recruit effectively

Recruiting successfully isn’t just about finding the person with the most experience and qualifications. They must have the right attitude and motivation, and you should be able to support their needs too. Recruit people who fit your company culture and share the same values as their colleagues.

Take time to understand what an employee’s expectations are of you as an employer. If you can’t offer them the opportunities and support they are looking for, they will very quickly become disillusioned and demotivated, which can leave them feeling stressed.  

Invest in the wellbeing of your employees. They are your best asset, and if you look after them, they will look after your company.

We can help

At Key Appointments, we are experts in recruiting the right people, for the right roles, with the right company. We aren’t simply looking for the best CV, we are looking for the people who will be the best match for your existing team.

We also have a network of specialists who can help with mental first aid, life coaching, HR and financial advice.

If you need assistance with any aspect of recruitment or employee wellbeing, get in touch with one of our friendly consultants to see how we can help you recruit and retain the right talent.

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