Sweep away stress

It’s International Stress Awareness Day today – 1st November – an annual event centred on stress and stress prevention and promoting the importance of wellbeing for individuals and organisations.

Some stress is natural but it’s important to recognise the symptoms and monitor stress levels. Organisations that genuinely promote and value the health and well-being of employees will benefit from improved engagement and retention of employees with consequent gains in performance and productivity.

International-Stress-Awareness-Day

Measure and monitor

Work-related stress is defined as a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work. Labour Force Surveys show:

  • The total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16 was 488,000 cases, a prevalence rate of 1510 per 100,000 workers.
  • The number of new cases was 224,000, an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000 workers. The estimated number and rate have remained broadly flat for more than a decade.
  • The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2015/16 was 11.7 million days. This equated to an average of 23.9 days lost per case. Working days lost per worker showed a generally downward trend up to around 2009/10; since then the rate has been broadly flat.
  • In 2015/16, stress accounted for 37% of all work-related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.
  • Stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education; health and social care; and public administration and defence.
  • By occupation, jobs that are common across public service industries (such as healthcare workers; teaching professionals; business, media and public service professionals) show higher levels of stress as compared to all jobs.
  • The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work-related stress, depression or anxiety (LFS) were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support

Wellbeing at work

Health and safety legislation imposes on employers a duty to undertake risk assessments and manage activities to reduce the incidence of stress at work.

The emotional and physical wellbeing of your workforce is reflected in levels of absenteeism. Well-being at work encompasses general mental health and wellbeing in terms of levels of happiness, trust, engagement and “presenteeism”. Although the financial impact of these aspects of work is difficult to evaluate, there is research that links workplace wellbeing to long-term financial success.

Here are five steps you can take to address stress in your workplace:

  • Ensure you have plan in place to manage stress in the workforce
  • Undertake an audit of the workplace to identify potential stressors, such as unrealistic workloads and schedules
  • Train line managers in mental health awareness
  • Launch a good mental health promotion campaign
  • Audit absences and make sure you understand the reasons for them.

Michael is Chief Executive of 10Eighty. 10Eighty is a career and talent management consultancy that helps organizations maximize the contribution of their employees by ensuring satisfying jobs and careers for their employees. Michael is a Human Resources professional, having worked in the National Health Service, Insurance, Commodities and Derivatives industries. He has worked within the career coaching business for fifteen years, both managing a £7 million business and delivering bespoke, one to one career coaching. In the last 15 years Michael has run businesses that have helped 75,000 people make successful career transitions. He is a frequent commentator in the press/media, which includes a range of topics on “successfully managing your career” and talent management. Most recent media mentions have included BBC South, CNBC, Radio4, Financial Times, City AM, Financial News, Evening Standard, The Sunday Times, The Grapevine and HR Magazine, to name but a few. He writes a careers column for People Management, a blog for the Human Resources Magazine and is a regular contributor to The Thompson Reuters HR Portal. Michael is known as a thought provoking speaker in the HR industry. In the last 18 months, Michael spoke at the Careers Partner International Conference, NHS breakthrough conference, NHS North West Leadership Academy, London School of Economics, University of Westminster’s Talent Management Conference, ICAEW Finance Directors Conference, CIPD learning and development conference and CIPD branch seminars. He is also Chair of the CIPD’s Central London Branch. Additionally is a non executive director of Marshall ACM, an e-learning company and the Total Reward Group, a compensation and benefits consultancy. Michael plans to publish his book “The guide to everlasting employability” in the Autumn 2012. He has just launched an iphone app “careers snakes and ladders” and an online interactive version of the book in collaboration with Marshall ACM to coincide the launch of his new business 10Eighty. Michael has a degree in Economics, a MBA from Warwick Business School and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He holds an accreditation from the British Psychological Society for the use of psychometrics. Michael has completed the Fairplace Internal Accreditation Programme, the training element of which is externally recognised by the Association for Coaching. Michael Moran was until January 2012 Chief Executive of Fairplace and a main board director of Savile plc, the career and talent management consultancy. Fairplace is part of the Savile Group, an AIM listed plc. The Savile Group was placed 16th in the Sunday Times top 100 small companies in 2010.

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.

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