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Managing employee stress at work

Identifying whether an employee is suffering from stress in the work place is not an easy task. Quite often, you will only become aware of the issue when productivity levels drop or absenteeism occurs. By this point, rather than dealing with the issue before it occurred, employers may have already began the capability or disciplinary process - causing additional stress for the employee. For Stress Awareness Day, we take a look at the causes of stress in the workplace and how employers can tackle these problems.

What can cause stress?

  • Employees feeling unable to deal with the pressures/workload placed on them
  • Lack of support from colleagues or line managers
  • Employees not understanding their role and responsibilities
  • Employees not feeling respected or valued
  • Organisational change.

Stress is subjective and the causes and impacts will effect employees differently, but if left unmanaged, can lead to poor performance and burnout staff. Employers have a 'duty of care' towards their staff. This means taking active measures to try and prevent employees from suffering with excessive stress while carrying out their work.

Managing stress in the workplace is vital to having energised and productive staff, as well as reducing employee turnover.

What can employers do to manage stress?

  • Adopt a consistently applied stress management culture
  • Train and empower your line managers on how best to manage their staff
  • Have open lines of communication with staff
  • Ensure employees have a healthy work/life balance
  • Make sure employees feel valued and respected
  • Manage workloads effectively

Working with employees to identify and deal with potential stressors not only also allows them to take responsibility for their own health, but also creates a supportive and positive work environment.  By doing this, you will also break down barriers with staff - leading to open lines of communication and positive working relationships within teams.

If you are currently managing an employee who is suffering from stress and would like some advice, or you would like some training on the issue delivered in-house to your management team, please get in touch with our employment department.

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