Stress has been defined as:
The adverse reaction that people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them.
Health and Safety Executive
BHT has worked with our mental health trainer Alex Langridge to develop a new Managing Stress in the Workplace for Managers course. In our blog, Alex talks about the importance of preventative strategies to stop stress escalating and developing into a more serious mental health condition.
There are a number of symptoms that indicate that someone is under too much pressure, which can be broadly divided into the following four areas:
- psychological and cognitive signs such as poor memory and concentration
- emotional signs such as being irritable or extra sensitive to criticism
- physical signs such as aches and pains and gastro intestinal problems
- behavioural signs such as poor standards of work, social withdrawal and self-neglect
Pressure can come from a number of places: work, home, and of course ourselves. In a work context, stress, anxiety and depression accounted for 43% of working days lost due to ill health in 2014/15. However when employees are showing signs of stress but don’t take time off work, they are likely to become less productive and effective. This is known as presenteeism, and the impact of this amounts to many times the cost of sickness absence.
It’s all about prevention
So why does the Managing Stress in the Workplace for Managers course focus on preventative strategies to improve employee wellbeing?
It’s because prevention and early intervention are more effective than reactive responses, once difficulties have arisen. Preventative strategies also help employers demonstrate that they are meeting their legal duties to manage stress at work.
These strategies include organisational approaches to assess the risks from workplace stress and implement effective control measures, communication, change management, health promotion and training. Understanding the main risk factors for stress in the workplace (demands, role, control, relationships, support and change) helps employers and managers to consider what changes can be made to reduce the risks and support better employee wellbeing.
Alex is running Managing Stress in the Workplace for Managers training on Tuesday 13 September 2016.
To book your place, complete a booking form and return it to us via email.