Are stressed and busy the same? How to stop busyness affecting your business
Busyness is a feeling we are all familiar with. Being busy can often mean successful, but too frequently it can also mean stressed. A little stress can be useful in boosting productivity and focus. However, prolonged stress can not only have a serious impact on your employees’ health and wellbeing but also on your organisation’s business outcomes. The charity Mind found the cost to the UK economy is around £100bn a year. Aside from the cost of absence, stress can reduce staff productivity. Recognising and tackling stress is a key consideration for all employers. Healthy, happy employees are more valuable to your organisation.
In 2014/15 the Health and Safety Executive found the number of days lost to stress, depression and anxiety was 9.9 million. Recent research from Benenden, the mutual health and wellbeing provider, reports that only one in five people think stress is an acceptable reason to take a day off work with physical illnesses being perceived as more accepted reasons. Last year’s research from Mind found that just 5% of workers who had taken stress related sick days admitted the real cause to their employers. The study also found that 48% of those surveyed felt their employer didn’t care about their mental and physical wellbeing.
As an employer you have a duty of care for your employees, you need to be able to spot the signs of stress and consider ways in which you can assist your staff. Here are our top tips to help you see the signs and what you can do to stop your staff feeling the pressure:
- Learn to recognise the physical effects of stress – and educate your management team to do the same.
- Get to know your employees – you’ll notice any changes in their behaviour much more easily if you know what they are like when they are content.
- Keep in touch – schedule regular catch ups with your team, make time for your working relationship and ensure they feel they can come to you when they are feeling stressed.
- Provide support for your employees – consider offering an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to help your staff in difficult times.
- Set a good example – we know if you are the boss you may be feeling the pressure, but it’s important to set the right example for your employees.
- Prioritise employee health and wellbeing – think about your benefits and how you can help your staff feel better and switch off. Consider introducing healthy eating initiatives, contributing towards gym memberships, and encourage staff to take regular breaks and get some fresh air at lunch time.
- Remove the stigma in your workplace – too often in today’s society we are concerned with the stigma attached to mental health, educate your employees, put informative posters in common areas to show you care and how you can support them