Every organisation will be affected by stress and mental health problems within the workforce but how can you tell if your workplace needs to invest in stress management training?
Here are five signs to get you started:
- Changes in habits and general behaviour – has an employee started behaving differently? Have they increased their caffeine intake or increased their smoking habits? Have they changed their eating habits? Have they seemed constantly tired, as if they lack sleep? Changes in habits and behaviour are common and a strong indicator that your employees are experiencing stress.
- Changes in interactions – has an employee started treating their colleagues or customers differently? An employee may become agitated and snap at colleagues. They may also seem very happy then quickly become sad or angry. Agitation, nervousness and mood swings are also common in those who suffer from stress.
- Changes in work behaviour – has an employee started working more? Have they started working later or taken work home? Have they missed their breaks to do more work? Although this may be perceived as high performance, this is not always the case. Stress can cause employees to lose focus and this can mean that it takes them longer to complete tasks. They may also be using work as a coping mechanism to avoid things that are happening in their personal lives.
- Absenteeism - When employees take time off, if their sick notes state “stressed”, “exhausted” or “depressed” then it can be safe to say that that employee is experiencing problems with their mental health. Employers are often unaware that physical pain and illness can also be a strong indicator that a member of staff is experiencing stress. Stress causes tension which can often lead to back pain, neck pain and headaches. It also weakens the immune system meaning that people are more likely to catch illnesses such as colds. With stress being the most common cause of long term sickness absence, it is likely that this is the reason for their absence.
- Presenteeism – defined as physical presence but psychological absence, presenteeism is the biggest staff related cost to businesses and is the hardest to spot. Does a staff member turn up to work but not complete their tasks? Does this person not engage with other staff members? A stressed employee can become confused and lose concentration, meaning that they cannot do work as well as they did before. They may have also lost motivation and lack confidence in their own work. These are all signs of presenteeism and this could be due to stress.
If you have read this article and you can relate to the issues raised, then you may need to invest in some stress management training. Visit www.altruistuk.com/services today to find out more about how we can help you.