Today is National Stress Awareness Day in the UK, and as many of us spend much of our time at work, it’s worth looking at the part that this plays with our daily wellbeing.
The Health and Safety Executive has found that the number of cases of work related stress, depression and anxiety increased to 440,000 in 2014/15 – that figure includes 234,000 new cases. The main factors given were workload pressures including tight deadlines, lack of managerial support and too much responsibility. In terms of time off, this amounts to an average of 23 work days lost per person.
In our recent global survey we sought to find out what was of the most importance to employees, outside of pay. Work-life balance came out on top. Here are 5 ways that this can be achieved:
Implement policies and practices
Only 48% of respondents felt that their organisation had policies and practices to actively support them when they feel pressure or stress.
These policies form the foundation of the entire employee journey, but they are nothing without proper communication and reinforcement, and buy in from all levels.
Recognition and remuneration
54% said that they are satisfied with their reward and remuneration plans.
We recently helped a client to get a clearer idea of what its staff wanted through creating an employee community. This provided an opportunity to dig deeper into survey results, and get employees talking. The 12 week programme revealed that what the employees wanted was quite different from what their management thought they wanted.
Lead from the top
Almost 60% said there is a positive relationship between management and staff. This is a really important factor in creating an environment where staff feel supported and reducing stress levels.
Management has to be involved and available to get behind wellness activities with employees, to create a sense of togetherness, teamwork and support, and to facilitate a more open and approachable environment. Of course, being so hands-on also gives leaders a chance to see what does and doesn’t work.
Listen and connect
Much of the stress that we experience can be reduced through better communication. It’s important that employees have a platform they are comfortable with in which to talk, and that discussion is encouraged, after all, employees find support in each other. Managers can help to reduce stress, burnout and worry by making themselves available.
Customise your approach
There’s no one size fits all for wellbeing, because everyone is different. Each organisation is going to have its own needs and make up – and it’s really important not to forget those people who may not be office based and who may not be available to interact every day.
To find out more about how to create a culture of wellbeing, please download our whitepaper.