A few weeks ago, the Thrive at Work report, which reviews mental health and how it affects workers, revealed that 300,000 people with long term mental health problems lose their job every year.
This has resulted in a shift in conversation regarding mental health in the workplace, with businesses and employers being encouraged to provide more support to staff who struggle with mental health.
One major cause of mental health problems is work-related stress, so it’s important that employers are aware of their role and responsibilities in reducing and managing stress in the workplace.
The best thing you can do as a manager is provide your employees with support through regular communication including checking in on their workload, offering feedback and providing them with business updates.
By opening a strong line of communication, where your employees feel comfortable enough to approach you, it can make them feel a lot more at ease and more likely to let you know if work is getting on top of them or they are struggling in any way.
It can also be useful to offer flexibility especially if the stress is a result of feeling overworked. If possible, have a conversation with your employee about reducing their hours or allowing them time off for medical appointments, associated to their stress, outside of work – even if it’s just on a temporary basis.
A little more time away from work may be just what they need to tackle their stress and, when they are ready, they can return to work full-time in better health.
Encouraging your employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance is important too. Labour laws entitle workers to a minimum of 28 days’ annual leave for a good reason, so you should make sure that your staff are using their holiday entitlement, as well as taking their lunch break and not working outside of office hours on a regular basis.
Though they may have to stay behind on some occasions to complete a task or for a meeting that has overrun, this shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.
Workplace stress is also often a result of the pressure that comes with tough targets or tight deadlines. Most jobs can get stressful at times, unfortunately it isn’t always avoidable, but if that stress can be alleviated by adjusting targets so they are more attainable or stretching deadlines to allow employees a little more time to complete tasks, then this should be done.
If you would like to further assist your employee with managing workplace stress, then we provide an Online Stress Awareness Training Course starting at just £7.50 per course.