according to A recent report from the Department of Health and Safety (HSE)New or long-term work-related stress, depression or anxiety affected 822,000 UK workers in 2020/21 and accounted for half of all work-related ill health. Furthermore, HSE reports over 15.4 million working days lost as a result of these three factors at a moderate cost of £5.2 billion to industry, individuals and government.
Workplace wellness stats are shocking
Those are pretty shocking numbers when you sit down and think about it – actually, if One in two cases of work-related ill health Caused by stress or poor mental health, this suggests that there is an opportunity for employers to significantly reduce absenteeism levels if they can find ways to better manage stress in the workplace and put in place more measures to support their employees.
If you know what annoys your employees, you have a great start in helping them overcome their problem
While it may seem simple when you look at it this way, dealing with work-related stress is more challenging in practice. In fact, just knowing where to start can often feel overwhelming for business leaders and HR professionals, who are now under greater pressure than ever to find ways to maintain and improve the well-being of their employees. That’s why I wanted to take the time to share some of my own experiences and outline the steps we’ve taken at Britvic to better support our people.
1. Lead by example
Providing wellbeing sessions, mental health resources and activities like yoga and social outings is one thing, but getting people to attend is the real challenge. If you are facing it, why not lead by example and bring/use their resources yourself?
I try to be as open as possible about the personal use of the luxury and development resources we have at our disposal – and I encourage my fellow leadership team to do the same – because I strongly believe that if we set a strong example, others will. Follow.
The more openly you communicate with your colleagues about important issues, the greater your chances of building trusting and honest relationships that will cause them to come to you with concerns. If you know what annoys your employees, you have a great start in helping them work through their problems.
2. Set clear directions
Work-related stress often results from poor management of workloads and expectations. It is essential that leaders set clear goals and that feedback be clear and constructive. I think it’s good to challenge people and set high standards for performance, but it’s also important for people to know that support is there if they need it. This requires leaders to be present and truly listen to their people, tending to help during stressful or turbulent periods.
Taking proactive steps to prevent issues like burnout is a much better course of action than waiting for a response to poor mental health
Creating transparency around strategic goals, objectives and business change is also important to ensure that people understand the direction of travel, and to avoid feelings of uncertainty and uncertainty. There are few things worse than a workplace that keeps people in the dark, so be the opposite and empower your colleagues with information that will help them feel confident, engaged, and ultimately confident in their work.
All of this is rooted in strong and effective communication, which is why it is essential to give leaders and HR professionals opportunities to develop communication and people leadership skills—especially knowing that they will inevitably encounter many sensitive situations.
3. Take proactive steps
It’s also important to monitor your employees at work and note changes in behavior and mood to ensure signs of stress are recognized early.
Major issues like fatigue have some pretty obvious signs — diminished enthusiasm, low energy and lack of motivation, to name a few — but only if you know to look for them. The faster these issues can be identified and addressed, the better, which is why it is essential that leaders and HR professionals know what to look for.
Taking proactive steps to prevent issues like burnout is a much better course of action than waiting for a response to poor mental health – but inevitably both proactivity and reactivity will always be needed. Encouraging open discussions and regularly “checking in” with people simply asking how they are doing, small steps can make a big difference, indicating a genuine interest in well-being.
4. Create safety interactive support
While there are many things companies can do to reduce workplace stress, there will unfortunately always be a serious need for wellness initiatives that respond to mental health issues and concerns.
To pull the curtain on what this looks like in Britvic, we all have access to a 24/7 staff helpline in Great Britain and Ireland, and have approximately 40 fully trained mental health first aiders (and I am one of them – for example as I said earlier ). We consider it a much needed safety net for our employees, and in my opinion, it is one of the best measures a company can take for a while.
The best time to start real workplace well-being in your business was ten years ago, and the second best time is now
5. There is no time like the present
To give fresh insight into an old adage, the best time to start true workplace well-being in your business was ten years ago (or long before that!), the second best time is now. Unfortunately, workplace stress is inevitable, but there are plenty of steps employers can take to reduce its impact and create a more supportive, enjoyable, and productive environment for their employees.
Interested in this topic? Read five HR tips during the most stressful “stress awareness month” of all time.
#golden #rules #wellbeing #workplace