This month marks Stress Awareness Month

This month marks Stress Awareness Month

It’s a really fitting one for any and all businesses to get involved with, because stress and work seem to go hand-in-hand, unfortunately.

It’s your responsibility as an employer to identify and reduce elements of excessive stress in your business, to protect the mental health and wellbeing of your people. And that’s not always an easy task. Often, you don’t spot the signs that someone’s dealing with stress until it’s too late. That’s one of the reasons that 40% of work-related illness is caused by stress.

The good news is there’s a lot you can do to limit the stress your people have to deal with every day. But to do that, you need to put in a bit of work.

Start by training all your managers in stress awareness. This will help them spot the early signs of stress and tackle any issues before they become big problems.

Make sure everyone in your business understands that you and their direct managers are always available to talk if anyone is facing stress that is unmanageable or could become so. Communication is a key factor in helping to reduce stress – you know what they say: a problem shared is a problem halved.

Help everyone to understand that it’s not only workload that can be the cause of stress. Things like tight deadlines, lack of training, or even disagreements with colleagues can all contribute.

Encourage everyone in the business to take breaks, to get away from their desks each day, and to make healthy choices for lunch. You may also consider encouraging physical activity, by arranging group exercise classes for your team, subsidising gym memberships, or by setting a group challenge for people to get involved with (if they wish). A healthier body helps create a healthier mind.

If you offer any support or benefits to employees, make sure they’re aware of them and can access them when they need to. While your managers should be trained to spot any possible issues and speak to employees confidentially about them, they should never take over the role of a mental health professional where a situation requires one. In cases like these, your managers should have the contact details of suitable mental health support to pass on to employees instead.

Stress can be a tricky subject to navigate, but it’s important that you tackle issues as soon as they arise, to prevent them from worsening.

If you’d like any further help or advice on dealing with stress in the workplace, get in touch.

#StressAwareness #WorkplaceStress #MentalHealthAtWork #MentalHealthAndWellbeing