Fusion Business Solutions are our strategic HR business solutions partner, they specialise in providing expert HR and H&S services to education, health, small businesses and the third sector, here they give us their top tips on how to spot and deal with stress in the workplace.
Stress is a major cause of long-term sickness absence from work, and spotting the early signs is important to prevent it from escalating.
Stress in an employee’s personal life, for example financial worries, loss of a loved one or a change in their circumstances, can of course have an effect on performance at work. Many workplace initiatives can help people to manage stress, whatever the cause. Ultimately, building employee resilience and supporting staff experiencing stress can help retain a talented person and enable them to perform at their best in the long-term.
If people feel under too much stress and for too long, mental as well as physical illness may develop. If people feel under too much stress and for too long, mental and physical illness may develop. Stress can affect people mentally in the form of anxiety and depression, and physically in the form of heart disease, back pain and alcohol and drug dependency’. Effectively supporting employees’ mental health means promoting good mental health as well as providing support when an issue emerges.
There are some key steps you can take to better support employees’ mental health. Such initiatives demonstrate that the business recognises and accepts that mental health is an important issue and emphasises your commitment to promoting positive mental health.
|Spotting early signs of mental health issues||Businesses should be alert to the early signs of mental ill health and how to respond, as early intervention can help stop problems from escalating.|
|Signposting to support||Empathy and listening are the priority, and recommending a chat with a GP if appropriate. The mental health charities also provide helpful resources for individuals, carers and employers.|
|Increasing awareness of how to access funded support||Ensure employees are aware of the occupational health and counselling services that are available and how to access them.|
|Training for line managers||Training for line managers can enable them to spot early warning signs of potential issues as well as enhance their capability and confidence to have an effective conversation with employees.|
|Review job designs and workloads||Research around job design consistently finds that providing meaningful work and development opportunities is what leads employees to feel engaged and satisfied at work. Businesses should monitor workloads to ensure people aren’t feeling under excessive pressure they don’t feel able to cope with.|
|Promote awareness of mental health issues across the workforce||This can help reduce the stigma around mental health, and replace the common myths with the facts.|
|Promote work-life balance||Working long hours is not a sustainable way of operating and will take its toll on people. Striking the appropriate balance between work and personal life means people remain refreshed and productive.|
|Offer flexible working||Although not possible in all job roles, flexible working can reap dividends for both employee and employer. People will be better able to balance the demands on them from different aspects of their life, such as caring responsibilities, and therefore be more focused and productive when in work.|
Businesses should be proactive reducing common stressors and increasing staff resilience, as well as helping employees who are experiencing stress. Where possible, reasonable adjustments should be made to help people stay in work, or make an effective return to work after a period of absence, to make a positive contribution to the organisation.
If you would like further information on the occupational health services and counselling support that Fusion provide, please give us a call on 01254 355688
If you would like more information on how we or Fusion can support and help, please contact Alice Wrigley - firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01254 55688.