Stress, and stress related illness, is a growing issue for businesses in Britain and cases of employees taking time off due to stress have increased yearly and according to the Health and Safety Executive, in Britain 40% of work-related illnesses are based in stress, and 9.9 million days are lost every year to the problem.
But what is stress, and how do you manage that as an employer?
A little bit of stress can be a good thing…
Yes, you read that correctly but we’re putting the emphasis on the word little.
A small amount of stress can be a great motivator. We’re not on about a constant barrage of stressful scenarios but rather anything that can induce a level of importance upon your employees can be considered stressful.
It’s all about the little things; those KPI’s you’ve got for your staff can, if they build up, become a stress factor and you need to be aware of the signs of stress in an employee so that you can better aid your staff.
The signs of stress can vary
Stress can cause many different reactions in your staff and you may not notice many of the different factors that can indicate if your staff are in the danger-zone when it comes to stress, however there are some external signs of stress that can help you to determine if your employee is in need of some assistance:
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Constant illness
- Withdrawing from others
- Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
- Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
These are only a few examples of signs of stress, are clearer way to determine if you need to intervene with someone in the office is a sudden change in their personality – you know your colleagues and you’re a lot more likely to see if they’ve changed their mannerisms in any sudden ways.
What can you do to help?
If you’ve noticed someone in the office is behaving very differently than normal and suspect they could be stressed, the easiest thing to do is take them away from their tasks and have a conversation to see if there’s anything that could be wrong in their professional – or personal – environment that could be affecting them.
An informal chat is the best way to help someone be at ease, so taking them for a coffee away from the office is an excellent method to get hem to relax and open up.
Stress Management in the workplace
If you want to better interpret any signs of stress, and find out ways in which you can better help those who are stressed at work, hosting a workplace training session for all your employees can be a great way to ensure that those in your business have the tools and the knowledge to work together in battling stress in the workplace.