Are charity employees more stressed than the average UK worker?
As a rule, charity employees tend to work for causes close to their hearts and, therefore, they usually feel more satisfied at work than other professionals. Recent research even suggested that 35% of charity workers are more likely to have experienced a sense of achievement in their job, in comparison to other UK employees.
This is an optimistic statement for the charity sector, however we must not ignore that the charity workforce is also 25% more likely to have experienced stress. In fact, 80% of charity employees said they have experienced stress in their current job, which is very concerning.
Stress at work can be caused by a number of factors. I’d argue that, both charities and corporate employers, should adopt a holistic approach to employee wellbeing, focusing on the physical, mental and financial aspects.
To tackle this issue, it’s important to create a wellbeing strategy. That doesn’t mean simply selecting an attractive sounding list of benefits. Ideally, you should ask your workforce what they want, just so they feel part of the decision process. Then make sure you choose benefits to help build a healthy and happy workforce.
Equally important, is including benefits designed to help staff deal with any issues before they become more serious, such as employee assistant programmes, as well as protection measures in case they need financial support during long periods of absence.
Once your wellbeing programme is in place, the next step is to communicate it effectively to your workforce. After all, if your employees don’t know about it, they can’t and won’t appreciate it.
A survey2 we carried out last year highlighted that 89% of charity employees would be more loyal to their employer if they understood their benefits. It is therefore vital to develop and maintain a communication strategy to keep a workforce fully engaged.