Are you a manager? Concerned about a colleague? Here are some tips from Lucy Tufts, Director at polkadotfrog on how to recognise and combat stress in the workplace:
Occupational stress is a major risk to employers according to research carried out by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In support of Stress Awareness Month, polkadotfrog has created a series of expert articles, looking into the effects of stress within the workplace.
It is estimated that stress-related employee absence costs the UK economy over £3.8 billion each year, with a growing number of workers suffering from mental health issues. To help combat this, the HSE has issued an advisory suggesting that effective stress management should be incorporated into everyday management within the workplace.
Employees are often responsible for their own Health and Safety within the workplace, however, it’s also the manager’s duty to identify signs of stress among employees. polkadotfrog has put together some tips on how to recognise the key signs of stress:
- Notable changes or fluctuations in an employee’s behaviour. For instance, withdrawn or uncharacteristic behaviour
- A change in appearance
- A lack of commitment and concentration
What are typical causes of workplace stress?
- Work overload, such as consistently having to work longer hours than necessary, not being able to take lunch breaks or restrictions on annual leave.
- Personal and/or family issues outside of the workplace. If you don’t have a close relationship with your employee these may be more difficult signs to spot.
- The psychological working environment, for example, abusive and/or inappropriate behaviour, internal issues with management and unrealistic targets/team pressures.
- The physical working environment: Cramped space, dull lighting, inconsistent temperature and regular disruptions (both external and internal) could all be causing an employee stress.
- Extensive micro management can also be a massive factor in workplace stress. Feeling like someone is constantly watching over your shoulder is never a nice feeling and employees are also less likely to take initiative for fear of disappointing.
Methods of resolving
- Schedule regular reviews of workplace policies to ensure they benefit and safeguard both the company and its employees.
- Empower your employees to get on with the job and allow them to be confident in their role to boost self-esteem.
- Provide support for employees who are suffering from stress, listen to what they have to say and prioritise their health over work.
- Listen to what the employee has to say and consider actions that could be taken to decrease stress levels, for example, simple modifications within the workplace environment, or increased communication from management.
- Put specific measures in place to tackle workplace discrimination, abuse and inappropriate behaviour.
When it comes to combatting stress, creating policies, enforcing effective communication methods with employees, and initiating transparent discussions will lead to an open and honest working environment for all.
polkadotfrog is committed to improving the workplace environment for both employers and employees, you can sign-up to our newsletter to receive more of our content in this series by visiting our website.