|Over recent weeks I have written about Anxiety quite a bit. Not because I am scare mongering but because this is a serious issue that impacts negatively on thousands of people every day. It’s also a major cause of sickness absence which can become lengthy. None of this is good for the individual experiencing anxiety and stress but it’s not good for businesses either. According to the Government’s own statistics the amount of time lost in 2016/2017 amounted to 12.5 million days and one third of all sick notes issued by GPs is for mental health issues. This is a modern epidemic and as an employer, knowing what to look out for may make a real difference to your employee and to your business.
So how does stress develop?
Work related stress develops – often slowly and over long periods – when a person is unable to cope with the demands of their role for a variety and mix of reasons. This does not necessarily mean that can’t do their job due to ineptitude but it does often mean they have become overwhelmed. Perhaps the workload has exceeded their capacity but not their capability. A saying that sums it up well is this, “Stress isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of having tried to stay strong for too long.”
What you should be looking out for in your employees – or even yourself!
Stress and anxiety create real and potentially serious physical symptoms such as:-
- Chest pains
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach pains
- Trouble sleeping
- Frequent colds or infections
- Nervousness and shaking
- Muscle pain
Also watch out for changes in behaviour or attitude. For example, do you notice a staff member becomes easier to agitate, moody or frustrated than usual. Do they snap back at comments they would have laughed off before, or seem withdrawn or aggressive with others?
As an employer, you have a duty of care, so asking someone if they are OK or need some extra help is OK. All too often, people struggle on hoping to ‘shake it off’ or that something will change, so your concern may be what they need to hear so something can be done before the situation becomes even worse for them – and for you.
Of course, it may be that your business is in a high-pressure industry or service and stress is an inherent part of your world. If that’s the case, you can take a proactive approach to avoid the inevitable difficulties associated with sickness absence for stress or anxiety. Here at The Wellbeing People we specialise in working with individuals but also within teams, departments and companies to address the issues associated with the condition. We can help with bespoke workshops designed around your industry. We can train techniques that enable your employees to stay in control of their own emotional wellbeing as well as making them aware of what to look out for when ‘normal’ levels of stress start to build up to being something serious. We firmly believe in prevention being better than a cure, and in today’s high pressure work place environments this is particularly true.
Our workshops can be held in-house or at a training centre local to you. By working closely with you we provide all the benefits that an effective stress and anxiety awareness workshop brings, without disrupting your business operations.
Like us, you will want your employees to be happy and healthy at work and when a healthy mind is protected by a person’s employer, productivity will be sustainable in the most demanding of workplaces