Held every April since 1992 stress awareness month aims to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern-day stress epidemic.
There is no health without mental health and stress can lead to a range of health problems, from physical problems, like heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues, immune system challenges, etc. to more serious mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
#ActNow is the slogan chosen for the 2023 campaign:
How to recognise stress at work
Stress in the workplace can affect every aspect of an organisation, from absenteeism rates to interpersonal relationships.
Try to create a healthy workplace that values employee wellbeing as much as it values productivity. Ensure awareness training is in place, enable employees to talk about mental health issues without fear or shame, encourage self-help and self-care and mental health maintenance training sessions.
From an organisational perspective there may be many signs that your workforce are experiencing stress:
- High staff turnover
- Increased absenteeism and sickness levels
- Long-hours work culture
- Employees not taking their full holiday entitlement
- Low productivity and efficiency
For employees the warning signs are many and varied, changes can be physical, emotional, behavioural, or a combination of all three:
- Extroverts becoming withdrawn
- Becoming more accident prone
- Becoming short-tempered
- A dramatic change in weight
Help reduce stress
Mental health should be taken as seriously as other aspects of health and support offered to employees for their mental wellbeing:
Communicate – keep staff informed about workplace changes. Be clear about job roles and targets, and be sensitive in the way you communicate.
Feedback – can improve employee confidence and keep them informed on areas to work on. This can provide a consistent approach to prevent an overload of criticisms which can impact on stress levels.
Team building – focus on building team spirit and employee engagement. Organise company events out and wellbeing days. Being valued and involved like this is a major factor in happiness at work.
Canvass opinion – people often feel stressed when they are powerless over their job content. When change is required, consult those involved so they can have a say in work-related decisions.
If you have other top tips for managing stress, let us know on social media by clicking one of the icons below.