Stress at work is one of the most disruptive influences on British business, with the UK coming second worst in a recent poll of working hours lost to stress-related illness.
But recognising the difficulties and stress, faced by your employees is not always a particularly easy thing to do.
The modern workplace is a complicated animal and it’s difficult for higher-management to spot the troubles their employees may be facing. Often, it is left to individual office or team leaders to deal with troubles. But that isn’t always enough, especially if their decisions or actions are contributing to the problem.
So how can the upper management of a company see if stressful working conditions are killing their business?
“There are a couple of clear warning signs that you should be looking out for,” explains Charlotte Gallagher, a HR specialist at P3 People Management. “When you look at staff turnover, is it high for your kind of business? What are the market averages? And, when it comes to productivity, are there troubles with sickness?”
It’s worth businesses taking the time to address the issue of stress. In America, recent studies showed that companies with higher employee engagement were 22% better off financially than their direct competitors. In the UK, it’s estimated that 62,000 people a day are off work due to stress. That’s a huge drain on the wider economy and, potentially, to your business.
“Think about your base-level employees. Are they learning and developing or are they set aside in a small room being barked at by managers? It’s the small things that make the difference. Of course, the employee has a responsibility to help work things through as well. It’s probably worth company bosses asking themselves: How can we encourage employees to speak up and engage about their stress?”
With National Stress Awareness Day on the 5th of November, many companies will be spending a little extra time keeping an eye on the mental happiness of their workforce. Will you be joining them?